The family of a 16-year-old Dunedin girl unleashed fury and vitriol at the man accused of her murder when he appeared in court yesterday.

The 30-year-old doctor, who is charged with killing Amber-Rose Rush, was granted interim name suppression and remanded in custody by consent until he appeared in the High Court on February 20.

When the defendant, unshaven and dressed in a green hooded jersey, appeared in the dock, family of Amber-Rose called out to him. As he turned to face them, they let fly with a barrage of abuse, prompting Justice of the Peace Russell Atkinson to issue a warning.

As the defendant was led to the cells, a man rushed to the barrier of the gallery, pointed at the accused and told him, "you're dead, c***".


Others made similar threats and made claims about the defendant which were too prejudicial to be published.

The victim's family would not comment outside court yesterday, but her mother earlier labelled the man a "complete animal" on social media.

"The disgusting excuse for a human who come into my home and took my baby girl from me, I hope you suffer every single moment of what is left of your life. He killed my beautiful child, he killed our entire life."

Amber-Rose was killed at a Clermiston Ave house, in Dunedin, sometime on Friday night. Her mother (known as Lisa Ann on social media) gave a tribute to her on Facebook.

"How do I put into words what you mean to me my baby girl. You are literally my other half, my soul, my heart, my everything.

"I don't know how to be without you, I cannot see a way to live without you. You're everything to me, to all of us. You may be the baby of the family, but you are and will forever be the heart and soul of our family.

"I promised you that you would never be alone, and you won't, not ever. I love you with every inch of my soul, forever baby girl, love mum xoxoxo."

Amber-Rose was described by family and friends on social media as a "most beautiful, kind-hearted and most loved girl" who was "a cheeky free spirit and instantly loved by everyone that met her".


Kaikorai Valley College principal Rick Geerlofs said she had been a pupil but left during term four last year. She had since taken a job at a Dunedin supermarket.

"Amber was a quiet, friendly student who's been with us since year 7. She's going to be sadly missed by family and friends, and our thoughts and prayers a very much with her family and friends at this time."

The school was providing support to pupils affected by her death.

JP Atkinson yesterday acknowledged two websites had revealed the accused's identity, but granted name suppression anyway.

The police did not oppose the application and counsel Sarah Saunderson-Warner said anyone who had published the man's name would have to remove the material from online.

The man was known to Amber-Rose, and police said they were not looking for anyone else in relation to the death.