18 Jul 2013

Lawyer says phone planted on her in prison

8:40 pm on 18 July 2013

An Auckland lawyer charged with taking contraband items into a prison has claimed one of those items, an i-Phone, was planted by prison staff.

Davina Murray is accused of providing an i-Phone, cigarettes and a lighter to convicted murderer and rapist Liam Reid in Mt Eden Prison on 7 October 2011.

Ms Murray, who is representing herself, spent much of Thursday cross-examining Detective Darren Tolmie, the officer in charge of her case.

She said she planned to call inmates who have had experience with prison staff planting items in cells, to back her claim up.

The judge still has to decide whether this is relevant to the case, and if the inmates will be called.

Earlier, Ms Murray suggested text messages read out in court weren't all written by her, as the Crown alleges.

Messages read out in court on Wednesday, from what the Crown says is Ms Murray's phone, refer to being in love with a man and not being happy until he is out of the cage.

It's not clear from the messages who the man is but the Crown says it's Reid.

On Thursday Ms Murray asked why police didn't hire an expert to analyse text messages, to determine who wrote them.

She also asked why the i-Phone was not fingerprinted when it appeared it would be important to the investigation, and whether police had already formed an opinion about what happened so didn't need further evidence.

Mr Tolmie said police received advice from an expert there was no point in fingerprinting the items because they had been through so many hands after they were taken from Reid.

The judge repeatedly asked Ms Murray to stop talking over witnesses and to stop pacing around her desk as though she were in an American television series.

Liam Reid is serving a 23-year-sentence for killing Christchurch deaf woman Emma Agnew in 2007 and for the rape and attempted murder of a university student nine days later in Dunedin.