The man charged with murdering 8-month-old Whanganui baby Bella Richardson still cannot be named.

The 25-year-old appeared in the High Court at Wellington this morning for his third appearance after being charged with Bella's murder last year.

He earlier had his first appearance in Masterton District Court, where Judge Barbara Morris granted him interim name suppression.

Defence lawyer at the time, Frank Minehan, said the incident was of "historic nature" and he was concerned for the man's mental health.


The charge would have come as "a deep shock" to his family, Minehan said.

Interim name suppression was continued today because a lawyer had not been officially assigned to him.

The defendant, who is being held in custody, may go to trial in November this year.

Bella died at a property in Whanganui on November 7, 2016, and the accused is known but not related to her.