2 Apr 2014

Bedside hearing for murder-accused

6:47 pm on 2 April 2014

A hospital bedside hearing has been held for a man charged with sexually violating and murdering a Christchurch woman and attacking two tourists on the West Coast while armed with a metal bar.

The body of 24-year-old Amy Farrall was found in the boot of her car in a New World carpark in the Christchurch suburb of Woolston on Sunday.

The 38-year-old Otaki man has been granted name suppression and faces a range of charges, including aggravated robbery and wounding with intent, over the attack on the tourists.

The hearing was held at Christchurch Hospital on Wednesday where he was handcuffed to his bed.

His lawyer, Liz Bulger, said it is likely he would undergo further surgery for injuries, including dog bites, sustained when he was arrested south of Fox Glacier about 3am on Monday.

Ms Bulger asked the judge for a psychiatric report to be delayed because her client is still on medication following surgery. He has been remanded in custody to appear in the High Court in Christchurch on 16 April.

The tourists - Michaela Brandl, 28, from Germany and Niki Honda, a 27-year-old of Japanese/Dutch origin - hitched a ride on Sunday afternoon in Whataroa, about 30km north of Franz Josef, from a man driving a blue Terrano.

They were later found injured by the side of the road near Franz Josef, one with stab wounds to the neck and the other with a broken pelvis. They remain in a stable condition in Christchurch Hospital.

On Monday, Detective Senior Sergeant Darryl Sweeney told Radio New Zealand that Miss Farrall and the man who is now to be charged had lived at the same house for a short time and police are trying to determine exactly what relationship they had.

Miss Farrall worked as a community support worker at Richmond Services, a non-governmental organisation providing disability and mental health support services in Christchurch.