5 Dec 2023

Angela Blackmoore murder trial: Crown case relies on 'very odd man', defence argues

5:01 pm on 5 December 2023
Angela Blackmoore was found murdered in her Christchurch home in 1995.

Angela Blackmoore. Photo: Supplied / NZ Police

A defence lawyer in the Angela Blackmoore murder trial has told jurors the Crown's key witness is a liar whose evidence cannot be trusted.

Closing arguments finished earlier on Tuesday in the second trial of David Hawken and Rebecca Wright-Meldrum for the murder of the Christchurch woman back in 1995.

Jeremy Powell pleaded guilty to the murder in 2020 and was sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum non-parole period of 10 years.

A pregnant Blackmoore was bludgeoned and stabbed 39 times in her Wainoni home while her two-year-old son slept in a nearby room.

The first trial was abandoned in May after new material came to hand that lawyers needed time to review.

Powell was previously called as a Crown witness, and told the court Hawken offered him and Wright-Meldrum $10,000 for Blackmoore's murder.

He also said Hawken threatened to kill his family if he did not murder Blackmoore.

Wright-Meldrum's defence counsel, Philip Shamy, took aim at Powell during his closing remarks, casting doubt over the integrity of the Crown's star witness.

"He's tried very hard to sell himself, again he turned himself into a victim.

"In terms of whether he's a psychopath… I don't know.... but what I suggest, in what he's demonstrated to you, is that he's a liar, he's a murderer and, to use an old word, he's a pervert. He's a very odd man."

Laurie Anderson with an old photo of him and his partner Angela Blackmoore, who was murdered in their home 20 years ago.

Laurie Anderson with an old photo of him and partner Angela Blackmoore, murdered in their home nearly 30 years ago. Photo: RNZ / Rachel Graham

The defence called out Crown arguments around the presence of extreme pornography on Powell's devices, which Shamy believed were tempered by the fact he deleted the objectionable files.

"I've never heard the Crown defend someone who has that on their computer in close to 40 years of practice… I've never heard that."

Shamy also argued that prosecutors chose to overlook forensic evidence of the crime scene where he argued there were holes in their case.

He concluded with assertions there was insufficient evidence to convict Wright-Meldrum of murder.

Justice Rachel Dunningham will sum up the evidence from Wednesday morning. The 12 jurors will then retire to deliberate on a verdict.

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