Al­leged daugh­ter killer ap­pears again in court


A man charged with mur­der­ing his nine-month daugh­ter may not stand trial un­til next year.

Dono­van Michael Duff, ap­peared at the High Court in Ro­torua on Wed­nes­day via au­dio visual link.

Jus­tice Sarah Katz set a pro­vi­sional trial date of June 11, 2018, be­fore ad­journ­ing the case to al­low Duff to ap­point a lawyer.

Duff, who stood with his arms folded through­out pro­ceed­ings, told the court ‘‘I’d rather like le­gal as­sis­tance’’.

Crown lawyer Chris Mack­lin de­scribed Duff as some­one ‘‘not un­fa­mil­iar with the le­gal sys­tem’’.

Katz said that it would not be ap­pro­pri­ate for any plea to be en­tered while Duff awaited le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tion.

‘‘His un­der­stand­able pref­er­ence is to have the op­por­tu­nity to con­sult a lawyer be­fore mak­ing a plea,’’ she said. ‘‘That is clearly ap­propi­ate.’’ Katz re­manded Duff in cus­tody ahead of a June 28 call over date, when a plea is ex­pected to be en­tered.

The death of Maija Phui-Duff oc­curred in Tu­rangi on 12 March 2016.

Taupo Po­lice com­pleted ex­ten­sive in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the death in­clud­ing con­sult­ing with med­i­cal spe­cial­ists on the cause of death.

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