Trial date set for Guy case

September 27th, 2011 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Dom Post reports:

The man accused of murdering Feilding farmer will stand trial in June next year.

Ewen Kerry Macdonald – Guy’s brother-in-law – appeared before Justice Alan MacKenzie in the High Court at Palmerston North this morning.

His murder trial will be held on June 5 in Palmerston North and is expected to take six weeks.

As I read this, I reflected how good it is that the Guy family are spared having to go through what is effectively two entire trials, now that deposition hearings are the exception not the rule.

The trial is going to be incredibly hard on the Guy family. I’m pleased for them that the law change (initiated by Labour IIRC) means they only have to go through it once – especially as it was inevitable that a depositions hearing would end up in committing to trial anyway.

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9 Responses to “Trial date set for Guy case”

  1. Jimbob (641 comments) says:

    June next year sounds a long way off. Just how slow can the courts get?

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  2. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    I reflected how good it is that the Guy family are spared having to go through what is effectively two entire trials, now that deposition hearings are the exception not the rule.

     

    Except now unnecessary trials are more likely to make it through, as Judge David Saunders alluded to when this case ended

    He said he hoped that the jury would not feel that their time had been wasted. Since the courts stopped holding depositions hearings last year, prior to trials, the taking of evidence had become the first time people saw “the true colours of people making these complaints”.

     

    The fact is that depositions were a great way to resolve trials, and the removal of them has led to an increase in trials, and, ironically, a greater backlog in the Courts!

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  3. ross (1,437 comments) says:

    Oh, come on F E Smith, don’t ruin a great story with some inconvenient facts. :)

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  4. plebe (271 comments) says:

    The Christmas family get together, will be a blast this year,NOT

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  5. Mick Mac (1,091 comments) says:

    Yeah and what about the kids?

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  6. bruno 32 (22 comments) says:

    The evidence must be pretty compelling.

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  7. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    No necessarily, bruno. To be committed for trial the prosecution only has to establish a prima facie case against the accused, which is done on the papers. It does not need to be compelling at all.

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  8. civil serpent (23 comments) says:

    Well I’m with FES on this one. Having, in a previous life, conducted dozens and dozens of jury trials (both Crown and defence), I can vouch for the fact that depositions hearings at which witnesses gave evidence were extremely effective in narrowing issues, shortening subsequent trials and – again speaking from personal experience – actually leading to guilty pleas without the need for a costly jury trial. I haven’t practiced under the new “justice by expedience” regime but I am reliably informed by various “stakeholders” (lawyers, prosecuting agencies, court officials and judges) that trials without “live” depositions beforehand, add to rather than reduce difficulties.

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  9. bereal (3,137 comments) says:

    maybe now the truth will finally come out.
    What happened to those missing chocolate labradors ?
    Where they buried with the red herrings ?
    Were they found in the orange datsun ?
    with the stub axles used to weight them down.

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