Carmen's mother views accused killer

By Rachel Tiffen

Carmen's mother Teresa Scott will farewell her daughter today. Photo / Dean Purcell
Carmen's mother Teresa Scott will farewell her daughter today. Photo / Dean Purcell

It was a mother's chance to face the man accused of killing her daughter.

And even though Brad Callaghan appeared in the Auckland District Court from Mt Eden Prison via video link, Teresa Scott made sure she did.

"I did, I looked him in the eye," she said afterwards.

Friends of murdered mother Carmen Thomas, 32, raised money to fly Ms Scott to New Zealand from her homeland of South Africa, to farewell her daughter at the Greenlane Christian Centre today.

A huge crowd is expected to attend the funeral.

Yesterday was Callaghan's second court appearance.

The 32-year-old is charged with killing former partner Ms Thomas in her Ngapuhi Rd home in Remuera on July 29 before dismembering and burying her remains in a crude grave in West Auckland's Waitakere Ranges.

Wearing a prison-issued green T-shirt and maroon shorts, a noticeably slimmer Callaghan sat upright in the tiny cell, swallowing often but speaking clearly when addressed.

Judge Josephine Bouchier made sure he could see defence lawyer Stuart Grieve, QC, and Crown Prosecutor Simon Moore before proceeding.

"Yes [I can see them] your honour," Callaghan replied.

Mr Moore asked for a remand date of February 8 to allow time to "get together approximately 80 written statements, probably more".

Judge Bouchier agreed, remanding Callaghan in custody at Mt Eden Prison.

A Corrections spokeswoman said remand prisoners could generally have visitors, potentially allowing Callaghan's fiancee Tanith Butler to take their new baby boy in to see him.

Callaghan is also the father of Ms Thomas' 5-year-old son Jack, who is in the care of a relative.

Carmen was reported missing by friends on July 13 after failing to pick him up from a carer.

Ms Scott sat among her daughter's supporters on the right side of the public gallery throughout the hearing. Across the aisle were Callaghan's friends. People from both camps were in tears after the brief appearance.

Chief Coroner Judge Neil MacLean said the coronial inquiry could take months because of the "unusual circumstances".

"Normally a post mortem is completed in 24 to 48 hours and it may take three or four months for the full report to come through, depending on toxicology and other factors," he said.

Police will not say whether a murder weapon has been found, but it is understood they were looking for a cutting device. A boat has been seized for forensic analysis and it is understood another vessel was being investigated.

Callaghan resigned from his job as a structural engineer at development company Mansons TCLM after his arrest on September 21, the day his new baby was due.

Mansons lawyer Glen Heath said the company was co-operating with police.

- NZ Herald

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