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Man charged with murder after wife dies in fire

Photo / File
Photo / File

The partner of a woman who died in a house fire at Tikitiki on the East Coast last year has been charged with her murder.

Lawrence Huihui Wawatai, 55, was remanded in custody when he appeared today in Gisborne District Court charged with the murder of 49-year-old Maryann Akuhata in October.

Her body was found inside the burned remains of the house after the blaze was brought under control about 7pm on October 10.

Wawatai, who is yet to plead, will reappear on February 20 for a bail hearing.

Defence lawyer Mark Sceats said Wawatai was charged soon after the fire with assaulting a female, which was accepted as being a holding charge.

- The Gisborne Herald

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