Day two of the Christie Marceau inquest has closed with a new ruling from the Coroner meaning the Herald is no longer required to delay publishing half of the evidence heard.

The inquest opened yesterday in the Auckland District Court before Coroner Katharine Greig.

She had made an order that the media could report evidence read by witnesses from their pre-prepared Court briefs but had to wait until the next day to publish anything said during cross examination.

The delay was so lawyers for various parties had a chance to review the evidence and challenge any statements or wordings they had issues with.

However this afternoon Coroner Greig lifted that restriction meaning the Herald can now report from the inquest like it would in any other court case.

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The aim of the inquest is to examine what happened in the lead-up to Christie's death in November 2011.

The 18-year-old was stabbed to death in her North Shore home by Akshay Anand Chand.

He was on bail and facing charges of kidnapping, assaulting and threatening to rape Christie.

Coroner Greig has indicated she will - not might - make recommendations at the conclusion of the inquest.

She is specifically interested in the processes at the North Shore District Court around file preparation and handling, and whether the administration process is adequate; what information was available to the judge who granted Chand bail after another member of the judiciary had earlier declined him on the basis he was a risk to Christie; police bail protocols and checks and the mental health services Chand was involved with.

Christie's court victim adviser Andrea Swager was today questioned on why, when she helped Christie write her bail opposition letter, she did not suggest the teen mention how close the proposed bail address of Akshay Chand (pictured in court) was to her home. Photo / Paul Estcourt
Christie's court victim adviser Andrea Swager was today questioned on why, when she helped Christie write her bail opposition letter, she did not suggest the teen mention how close the proposed bail address of Akshay Chand (pictured in court) was to her home. Photo / Paul Estcourt

Before Judge Greig reversed her order, the inquest heard from Christie's court victim adviser Andrea Swager and police prosecutor Adam Pell under cross examination.

Both had previously read their briefs of evidence in court.

The cross examination of Andrea Swager

After telling the inquest that she had helped Christie file a letter to the judge opposing Chand's bail, Swager was questioned on whether she could have or should have done more when the attacker was released.

Christie's mother indicated that when told Chand had been bailed she asked Swager if they could appeal - to which the adviser said that was not an option.

Tracey Marceau later found out an appeal could have been mounted.

Under cross examination Swager refuted that claim.

"I said there was nothing I could do that day," she said.

"I strongly advised her to go and speak to the police."

Tracey Marceau indicated that she would do just that, so Swager took no further action.

"The word appeal wasn't used," Swager said.

She explained there was a "check box" on her file so that if an appeal was discussed it would be ticked to show the conversation had been had.

The box was not ticked and Swager was adamant an "appeal" was not brought up.

She was adamant that she told Tracey Marceau there was nothing she could do "to change the judge's mind that day".

Swager then said she was not certain if she had notified Christie's parents of a psychiatric report that had been ordered for Chand.

The Marceaus say they did not know about that until after Christie's death.

While Swager was "really confident" that she would have given them all the information she had available about Chand, she could not be 100 per cent sure if they knew about Chand's mental health assessment.

"I give as much as I can," she said.

Her records showed she had updated the family and she assumed, though it was not physically recorded in her file notes, that she had passed the information on.

"When I say I have given an update ... I would assume that to mean that I have given them all the information that I have," she said.

Swager was also questioned on why, when she helped Christie write her opposition letter to the judge, she did not suggest the teen mention how close Chand's proposed bail address was to her own home.

It was a two-minute walk and the house was visible from the Marceaus' deck.

Swager said she was not aware of the exact proximity and did not push Christie for any further information even though the teenager said the offender lived close by.

"Her letter was very good, to the point and clear and it didn't contain any irrelevant facts," Swager said.

"There is very little I would change, possibly the specifics of the addresses.

"I sincerely hoped that this letter would be adequate in terms of the bail not being granted.

"I think [Christie] explained herself very clearly, I think she made it well clear she was at risk, she had conveyed it well and it didn't occur to me to be more specific".

Swager agreed that advisers could do more to encourage victims to be as specific as possible when writing opposition letters for bail hearings - and tease more information out wherever they could.

When she called Tracey Marceau to tell her Chand had been bailed, the worried mother was upset and disappointed.

Swager said it was common for advisers to be the bearers of bad news and for victims to be disappointed and angry with them and the court system.

"I do follow up when I feel there's more that could be done - I follow up with the police," she said.

But she did not follow up after speaking to Tracey Marceau.

"She made it very clear that she would be contacting the police directly herself," she said.

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The cross examination of Adam Pell

Police prosecutor Adam Pell explained to the court that he did everything he could to ensure Chand was not released on bail.

He conceded he went above and beyond what he would usually do as he strongly felt Christie was in danger.

He explained that when Chand first appeared he opposed bail, then when he found out Christie's attacker was having another try he went even further to strengthen the police case, including speaking to the detective in charge and the prosecutor who would be at the next bail hearing.

His key focus was the short distance between Chand's proposed bail address and the Marceau family home, which in his opinion was far too close and endangered Christie's safety.

He said he was determined "to ensure nothing was missed" and that Chand would be kept behind bars.

The prosecutor who attended the hearing where Chand was released is expected to give evidence tomorrow.

Pell wrote to the officer in charge, Detective Aaron Iremonger:

This is in Court again next week for a bail application. I note there are full admissions as evidence?

Mary-Anne Lowe wishes to get bail for her client for kidnapping, threatens to do grievous bodily harm as well as assault with intent to rape.

If there are full admissions as you say in your opposition to bail, to my mind there is a strong case to keep him in custody.

(Judge) McNaughton mentioned bail may be a possibility if he is "stable".

He is of course not "stable" but due to being remanded in custody and being put onto the meds he must take compared to outside where he does not have to keep his meds up to date.

If there is anything you have for the file that we can provide to the Court to justify continued detention, this is the time to provide it - signed statements, full transcript of interview (100% accurate) with these admissions


Pell told the inquest he had had a "high level of concern" for Christie's safety, which was "unusual".

"I wouldn't do that for every single file," he said.

"That was because of the direct risk I saw him being to her."

He said when the new bail application was heard the other prosecutor had more information to pass to Judge McNaughton.

However police claim he would not view it.

He had their opposition to bail form on file but did not seem interested in additional information including a map showing the proximity of Chand's home and Christie's, and a transcript of a DVD interview with police where the attacker admitted his offending.

Pell said he had full faith in the other prosecutor and "no concerns whatsoever" about his competency to advocate for Christie.

When asked if there should be any changes made to improve prosecutors' procedures, including having the same person assigned to individual cases for consistency, and being "more assertive" with judges in future, Pell said no.

"Everything that was done was done appropriately in my view," he said.

The inquest continues tomorrow.