17 Apr 2014

Husband charged with Miramar murder

3:45 pm on 17 April 2014

The estranged husband of slain Wellington woman Mei Fan has entered no plea on being charged with her murder.

Mei Fan.

Mei Fan. Photo: NZ POLICE

Michael Edwin Preston, 59, was arrested on Wednesday afternoon after a five-month investigation.

Mei Fan, 37, was last seen alive on 8 November last year dropping her two children at school. Her body was found two days later.

The accused is also charged with breaching a protection order and physically abusing Rongmei Fan, known as Mei, on the day of her death. He entered no plea to that charge either.

In Wellington District Court on Thursday, Judge Kevin Glubb remanded him in custody until his next appearance in the High Court on 12 May.

Earlier, Detective Senior Sergeant John van den Heuvel said the case has involved an extended and complex investigation which had been aided by the victim's family and friends, as well as the public.

Now that an arrest had been made, he hoped more people would come forward with fresh information as the inquiry continues.

Media ban

Media have been banned from publishing any photos or video of Michael Preston.

His lawyer Louise Sziranyi told the court that she wasn't making any application for name suppression, but objected to photos or video footage of her client, saying his identification and movements would be crucial in any trial.

Judge Kevin Glubb noted that Mr Preston had courted media attention previously and queried what a ban would achieve.

However, after submissions that there was only one grainy out-of date-photo in circulation, the judge agreed to make an interim ruling against allowing photos or video in court to ensure a fair trial.