Anna Leask

Anna Leask is a police reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Accused attacker appears in court

William John Murphy during his appearance in the Auckland District Court today. Photo / NZ Herald
William John Murphy during his appearance in the Auckland District Court today. Photo / NZ Herald

A man arrested over a spate of home invasions targeting elderly women has appeared in the Auckland District Court today.

A warrant to arrest William John Murphy, 36, was issued on Sunday after police identified him as a "key person of interest" in their investigation into the series of robberies
involving elderly women in their homes.

On Saturday night a 74-year-old pensioner was tied up and brutally beaten in her Pakuranga council flat before she was robbed of cash and credit cards.

Murphy has been charged in relation to one incident involving a 79-year-old woman in Westmere, but the police investigation is ongoing and further charges have not been ruled out.

So far he is charged with detaining the 79-year-old without her consent and taking her credit card with intent to obtain pecuniary advantage. He is also facing an unrelated charge of unlawfully taking a motor vehicle.

He appeared before Judge Anne Kiernan in the Auckland District Court just after 12.30pm today.

Murphy appeared in the dock wearing a blue police boiler suit.

He gave the finger as media were given permission to photograph him.

He was remanded in custody for a plea inquiry hearing until July 16.

- NZ Herald

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