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

Connor Morris killer appeal against conviction adjourned

Michael Murray appears in the Auckland High Court in August last year, accused of murdering Connor Morris. Photo / Jason Oxenham.
Michael Murray appears in the Auckland High Court in August last year, accused of murdering Connor Morris. Photo / Jason Oxenham.

The man found guilty of murdering Connor Morris with a sickle during a violent west Auckland street brawl has had an appeal against his conviction adjourned.

In September last year Michael Thrift Murray was found guilty of murdering Morris and jailed for life with a minimum non-parole period of 10 years.

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After sentencing Murray filed an appeal against his conviction.

A Court of Appeal hearing was scheduled to go ahead yesterday, but was adjourned.

The reason for the adjournment was not given, but a court spokesperson said a new date was yet to be finalised.

Morris, the partner of the late broadcaster Paul Holmes' daughter Millie Elder-Holmes, died on 3 August 2014 during a street fight between two groups on Don Buck Rd in Massey.

Morris was a member of the Head Hunters gang, along with his father and other friends and associates.

During his murder trial Murray told the jury he saw Morris, 27, attacking his younger brother and hit him in the head with a sickle-like tool, which he had retrieved from his home nearby.

He admitted killing Morris but denied the charge of murder saying he acted in defence of his brother.

After a two week trial a jury of eight men and four women found him guilty.

Connor Morris and Millie Elder-Holmes.
Connor Morris and Millie Elder-Holmes.

Elder-Holmes was called as a witness and spoke of holding her beloved partner in her arms as he died in the street.

The Morris family were planning to travel to Wellington to attend the Court of Appeal hearing this week.

Morris' mother Julie posted on Facebook this afternoon about the delay.

"This week we should have been in Wellington for the appeal," she said.

"After waiting for over a year I thought I was prepared and organised, even booking a family holiday (as the judgment can take months) so we had a distraction.

"However the appeal has been postponed and at this stage we have no idea when this will be."

Julie Morris, dressed in white, mother of Connor Morris. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Julie Morris, dressed in white, mother of Connor Morris. Photo / Jason Oxenham

Julie Morris and her husband Chris have not spoken publicly about their son's murder, but post regularly on the Facebook memorial page.

"I very rarely write about my feelings and I was hoping once the court process was over I could open up more about Connor and the night he was murdered," Julie Morris wrote.

"Connor was a charismatic lovable character and we all know how infectious his laugh was.

"He had this rare quality where he could mix with society's elite and quite happily talk to the homeless.

"He was colour blind when it came to people, it didn't matter what creed or colour you are but the person you are.

"He was both tough and soft a wonderful mixed trait in a man and he loved... loved his family, loved Millie loved his brothers, friends his dogs and more than anything loved his nieces."

Julie Morris said she thought of her son every day.

"We all miss you so much - so much sadness.

"I will never stop fighting for justice for you - never," she wrote.

- NZ Herald

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