Kurt Bayer is a Herald reporter based in Christchurch

Winz shooting accused won't take the stand

Russell John Tully in the High Court at Christchurch today. Photo / Pool
Russell John Tully in the High Court at Christchurch today. Photo / Pool

Ashburton Work and Income shooting accused Russell John Tully has elected not to call any evidence or take the stand in his high-profile double-murder trial.

After 73 witnesses, the Crown this afternoon concluded its case on day eight of the High Court trial in Christchurch.

Tully, who before today had spent just four minutes inside the courtroom over the first seven days of the High Court trial in Christchurch after twice being ejected for outbursts before the jury, sat surrounded by prison guards and manacled to a chair, quietly listening to the Crown's final witnesses.

When prosecutor Mark Zarifeh concluded the Crown case at 3.30pm, Justice Cameron Mander asked Tully if he wished to call any evidence or witnesses.

"Not without instructing legal counsel, your honour," said Tully who is self-represented and assisted in court by amicus curiae, or friends of the court, lawyers Phil Shamy and James Rapley.

On Monday, Tully claimed his trial was "fixed" and that he needs a lawyer and disclosure.

Justice Mander today told the jury that closing addresses will begin at 10am on Monday.

The judge's summing up of the case will then follow that, most likely on Tuesday morning.

Tully, 49, denies being the masked gunman who killed two Winz workers, shot and injured a third, and shot at and missed a fourth employee on September 1, 2014.

Identification of the masked gunman is key to the trial, the jury has heard.

The Crown says evidence that the shooter is Tully is "overwhelming".

Today, Tully sat through hours of testimony from police officers explaining the chain of evidence process.

After each witness gave their evidence, Justice Mander gave Tully the opportunity to ask them questions under cross-examination. He shook his head silently on most occasions.

However, Tully asked amicus Mr Shamy to ask questions on his behalf of witness, armed offenders squad (AOS) member Detective Brent Lyford.

Mr Lyford arrested Tully and told him his rights more than seven-and-a-half hours after the shooting.

Medically-qualified AOS members treated Tully for a dog bite injury to his leg at the scene, Mr Lyford recalled.

Tully was then taken to Ashburton police station in what he described as a "police paddy-wagon".

"[Tully] continually moaned and was dribbling on the floor of the van," Mr Lyford said.

At one point there was silence in the van, he said.

When he turned around, Tully was looking directly at the police officer, the court heard.

"When I looked at him, he began moaning and dribbling again," Mr Lyford said.

Mr Shamy was asked by Tully to put some questions to witness Mr Lyford in cross-examination, including whether police strip-searched him during his arrest.

Mr Lyford said Tully was not strip-searched during his arrest.

Asked if a backpack found at the scene was searched during his arrest, Mr Lyford said that it would have been as it was "standard practice that things like that are searched at the scene".

Tully has pleaded not guilty to murdering Ashburton Winz receptionist Peggy Noble, 67, and case manager Susan Leigh Cleveland, 55, inside the Winz office on September 1, 2014.

He also denies attempting to murder two fellow workers Lindy Curtis and Kim Elizabeth Adams and other charges that include two counts of unlawful possession of firearms, and one of setting a man trap.

Despite extensive searches around the Ashburton river, the murder weapon has never been found, the court heard today.

Detective Robert Kennedy said it was a "huge undertaking" to find the gun, but proved ultimately futile given the "thickness of terrain" in the area.

- NZ Herald

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