The man charged with murder following the death of a woman at Ngakuru on November 26 can now be named.

He is Michael Douthett, 57.

His name had been kept under wraps following his district court appearance soon after 50-year-old Patricia Wallis' body was discovered but that interim suppression order was lifted by Justice Sarah Katz in the High Court at Rotorua this morning

Douthett, who appeared by audio visual link, pleaded not guilty to the charge and was remanded in custody to reappear in the same court for a case review on March 8 next year.


The judge sent a nominal trial date of December 12 2019.

She noted Douthett had already been found fit to plead but at defence lawyer Max Simpkin's request she ordered a further psychiatric report be prepared to establish whether the defence of insanity is available to the defendant.