The trial for a man accused of murdering his childhood friend has been adjourned until 2023.
Christchurch man David Charles Benbow was charged with the murder of Michael McGrath in September 2019.
McGrath, a builder, vanished from his Halswell home on May 21, 2017. His body has never been found despite intensive police searches.
Benbow was due to go to trial on August 9. However, on Tuesday a court spokeswoman confirmed the trial had been adjourned until February 13, 2023.
Almost four years wait for a trial is far too long. It is unacceptable.
Benbow has been in custody since his arrest after being declined bail. He earlier pleaded not guilty to the murder charge.
It is sometimes necessary to hold people in custody while they await trial, especially for repeat offenders. But a wait of over 40 months is again far too long.