Guilty? Not so fast

Jock Anderson reports at NBR [paywalled] about the amazing ‘conviction’ that never happened of Davina Murray.

Various media, including the New Zealand Herald, TV3 and NewstalkZB, wrongly found Auckland lawyer Davina Murray guilty of smuggling items into convicted rapist and murderer Liam Reid in prison.

On Tuesday morning the Herald’s news website reported Ms Murray – who has been defending charges at a week-long judge-alone district court trial – had been found guilty.

In fact, her trial was not yet over, no decision had been reached and when it concluded on Tuesday Judge Russell Collins reserved his decision until August. 

The “guilty” story also appeared on the websites of TV3 and NewstalkZB, as well as a number of other fringe websites, which linked back to the Herald site.

The story was supplied to NewstalkZB, but TV3 and other websites appear to have copied the Herald story.

A Google search shows the stories were removed from the various websites but headlines and damaging introductions proclaiming Ms Murray’s guilt remain.

A member of the public observing the case on Tuesday told NBR ONLINE the courtroom erupted when Ms Murray found out what was published and sought a retrial.

“There was quite a kerfuffle going on,” the source says.

“The judge said he did not read the Herald or its website and said he would not be influenced by the guilty story. The judge said there was no need for a retrial.”

Turns out it was APNZ that was to blame and they have admitted culpability…no surprises there.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.