Davina Murray: I smuggled the phone

Davina Murray. File photo /  Steven McNicholl
Davina Murray. File photo / Steven McNicholl

Disgraced lawyer Davina Murray has accepted responsibility for smuggling contraband to convicted murderer and rapist Liam Reid in prison.

Murray denied the charge during her trial in Auckland District Court but was found guilty on August 1.

Her application for a discharge without conviction was due to be heard today, but in light of reports, the contents of which were suppressed, the sentencing was adjourned until October 1.

During this morning's hearing, Murray's lawyer Peter Williams QC told the court Murray had subsequently admitted smuggling an iPhone, cigarettes and lighter to Reid inside Mt Eden prison in 2011.

She did so because she "was under immense emotional pressure and in a confused state of mind with no thought about ulterior motive for the use of the phone", Mr Williams said.

He said the outcome of her trial may have been different if she had the opportunity to engage senior counsel or legal aid.

She was under "immense emotional pressure" and was a "very confused young lady" during the trial, Mr Williams said.

The Crown's case had been that Murray and Reid's relationship went beyond that of client-lawyer and prison guards seized the items from Reid after a visit from Murray.

Defending herself, Murray claimed the contraband was planted on Reid by guards, however Judge Russell Collins ruled that was "completely implausible".

Murray has since been ordered to pay more than $60,000 in costs for dragging a case with "no wider public interest" through the courts.

Her name has been removed from the Law Society Register, which means she can no longer offer legal services or describe herself as a lawyer, barrister or solicitor. She is also likely to face a Law Society investigation.

Reid is serving a 23-year sentence for raping and killing deaf woman Emma Agnew in Christchurch in 2007, and the rape, attempted murder and robbery of a 21-year-old student in Dunedin nine days later.

- APNZ

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