Arrested man in Christchurch Hospital

DEIDRE MUSSEN
Last updated 17:32 01/04/2014
car
New Zealand Police

Police say this Nissan Terrano vehicle was involved in the attack on the two tourists and is believed to be linked to an earlier homicide in Christchurch. They are asking anyone who saw it on Saturday to contact them.

Hitchhikers flown to Christchurch
Deidre Mussen
TRANSFER: The injured hitchhikers were flown to Christchurch Hospital.
Police car at Christchurch Hospital
MUFTI POLICE: Police accompanied an ambulance transporting an injured man from the West Coast to Christchurch Hospital.

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Police have released a photo of the Nissan Terrano that two female hitchhikers made a death-defying leap from after allegedly being attacked by a person of interest in an earlier homicide.

Police confirmed the vehicle was involved in the attack on the tourists, who are in Christchurch Hospital receiving care for stab wounds and fractures.

The vehicle is believed to be connected to the slaying of Amy Elizabeth Farrell, of Christchurch, police said.

The 24-year-old was found slain in the boot of her car in a Christchurch supermarket car park on Saturday afternoon.

A 38-year-old man described as a "person of interest" in the slaying and the attack on the tourists was transferred to Christchurch Hospital today for treatment to dog-bite wounds sustained when he was apprehended.

It is understood he had been living with Farrall.

Detective Senior Sergeant Craig Johnston, acting crime manager for Tasman police district, said this morning a bedside court hearing to lay charges against the man was a possibility, depending on the length of time he remained in hospital.

Police were required to lay charges as soon as reasonably possible and the man was yet to be charged, he said.

"We were looking at a bedside court sitting and if he had stayed here in Greymouth today, that is what we would have done," Johnston said.

"They will have to assess that once he is in Christchurch."

The man would remain under police guard while in hospital, where he is expected to have surgery.

Police had preliminary discussions with the two hitchhikers yesterday, but Christchurch police would conduct further interviews once their health improved, Johnston said.

The two women, a 28-year-old German woman and a 27-year-old woman of Japanese and Dutch origin, were airlifted to Christchurch Hospital yesterday evening by the Garden City flying doctor service.

The women had been hitchhiking down the West Coast after staying a few days in Greymouth.

The man allegedly picked them up in Whataroa but they managed to escape his car after he drove to a remote spot in Franz Josef Glacier township about 4pm on Sunday.

It was understood the German woman suffered three stab injuries to her neck in an altercation in the car and the Dutch-Japanese woman suffered pelvic fractures when she fell out of the car.

"I understand they are both in a stable condition today."

CRIMINAL HISTORY

The 38-year-old man was sentenced in the Palmerston North District Court in May 2009 to five years and three months' jail for an array of crimes including burglary, theft, arson and manufacturing methamphetamine.

He was freed on parole from Rimutaka Prison in October last year.

At a hearing a month earlier, the Parole Board ruled the man's risk to the community could be "adequately mitigated" over the remaining nine months of his sentence.

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In an unusual move, Corrections Services national commissioner Jeremy Lightfoot told The Press last night a review would be undertaken to make sure the department's supervision of the man "met our standards".

"While we do not normally comment ahead of the court process, I thought it important to reassure the public that our initial inquiries show that this offender had met his parole conditions up to the point of his last reporting in to us on 18 March," Lightfoot said.

SLAYING VICTIM REMEMBERED

Meanwhile, family and friends remembered Farrall as a kind, caring person who loved animals.

In a statement released through police yesterday, her family said Farrall was a kind, caring girl who always helped people in need.

In 2011, Farrall completed a Certificate in Mental Health Support Work from CPIT and she worked as a caregiver at Richmond New Zealand, an organisation providing community-based mental health and disability support services.

She was a former Lincoln High School pupil.

The family said they were "devastated that her caring nature appeared to have been tragically taken advantage of and were "shattered" by her death.

Friends took to social media to express their shock and grief after police found Farrall's white Toyota Corolla in the car park of Woolston New World. A decorative pink stiletto hung from the car's rear-vision mirror.

Her partner wrote that Farrall was his "beautiful soulmate".

"I love you with all my heart. I know [you're] watching over me and will always be by my side. Fly high and be happy and smile down on us," he said.

Another friend said Farrall had "so much heart to give".

- The Press

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