Delays for lawyer on prison smuggling charges

IAN STEWARD
Last updated 11:40 08/10/2012
davina murray
SUPPLIED
DAVINA MURRAY: The Auckland lawyer and Maori Party candidate allegedly smuggled a phone, cigarettes and lighter into Mt Eden Prison.

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An Auckland lawyer charged with illegally smuggling contraband to convicted murderer and rapist Liam Reid has had her case deferred.

Davina Murray, a former Maori Party political candidate, is charged with delivering an iPhone 4, a packet of Marlboro cigarettes and a Bic lighter to Reid on October 7 last year at Mount Eden Prison.

She was later charged with "holding a communication with him that might prejudice the safe custody of a prisoner" - in essence, passing on inappropriate information.

Reid is serving one of New Zealand's heaviest sentences for the 2007 rape and murder of deaf Christchurch woman Emma Agnew and the rape and attempted murder of another woman in Dunedin, soon after the murder.

He was originally sentenced to preventive detention with a 26-year minimum period, though that was later reduced to 23 years on appeal.

Murray visited Reid frequently at the prison and has since told a TV current affairs programme she thinks he is innocent.

Murray applied to have her case delayed as her new lawyer had only recently been instructed.

She is being represented by Charl Hirschfeld after her former representative, Barry Hart, was struck off for misconduct.

Hirschfeld applied to have the matter transferred to the Auckland District Court as it was the closest court to where the offence was alleged to have been committed.

Crown prosecutor Kevin Glubb did not object and said it could help to have the case transferred as some evidence could be given via audio-visual link, which only the Auckland court was capable of.

Judge Philippa Sinclair directed a further hearing be held for pre-trial matters and set down a defended hearing for March 11.

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- Auckland Now

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