24 Nov 2020

Convicted murderer Venod Skantha who killed Amber-Rose Rush, 16, appealing conviction, sentence

11:12 am on 24 November 2020

A former Dunedin doctor convicted of murdering teenager Amber-Rose Rush continues to maintain his innocence and claims there has been a miscarriage of justice.

Former doctor Venod Skantha at his sentencing today.

Former doctor Venod Skantha at his sentencing in March. Photo: RNZ / Tim Brown

Venod Skantha was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 19 years in March.

At trial, the jury heard Skantha stabbed the 16-year-old to death in her bed shortly before midnight in February 2018.

Rush had threatened to come forward with claims of sexual assault, providing minors with alcohol and offering money for sex.

Skantha is appealing his conviction and sentence at the Court of Appeal today.

His lawyer, Jonathan Eaton QC, claimed the prosecution's main witness murdered Rush.

He said that witness - who has name suppression - had a tendency to lie.

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