Murder accused fails to show in court

Last updated 10:29 13/03/2013

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A South Auckland man accused of murdering his two-year-old stepdaughter has failed to appear in court, prompting a judge to order his arrest.

Michael Martin had been due to appear in the High Court in Auckland charged with murder in relation to the death of Leilani Mary Jane Lotonu'u-Lorigan.

The 23-year-old was granted bail following his arrest last year.

Leilani died on June 10, 2012, at a Housing New Zealand home in Manurewa she lived at with her mother, her baby sister, Miami, and Martin.

Martin's lawyer told the court she had repeatedly tried to contact both Martin and his mother prior to the hearing, with no luck.

Letters were unanswered and a phone call hung up on, the lawyer said.

Justice Brewer ordered Martin's arrest, and issued a warrant. He will appear before the court as soon as he is apprehended by police.

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