Name suppression continues

Last updated 11:06 20/02/2014

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The 59-year-old woman accused of burning down St Philomena's Church in New Plymouth has been given continued name suppression.

In the New Plymouth District Court this morning the woman's lawyer Jo Woodcock asked for continued suppression despite a psychiatric report finding her fit to plead to the charge of arson.

The church and its library were destroyed in the fire on January 6.

Ms Woodcock said elements in the psychiatric report raised concerns for her client should her name be made public.

Ms Woodcock handed up a letter to the judge written by the defendant.

Her client intimated a not guilty plea but time was needed to decide if this should be a trial by jury or by judge alone, Ms Woodcock said.

Judge Allan Roberts said the defendant's name was well known around town and he was not in favour of continued name suppression.

However he said he would give Ms Woodcock the opportunity to make submissions on the continued name suppression at the next appearance on March 6.

About six people were in court to support the woman.

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