A star witness in the case against a Dunedin doctor has been accused of creating an alibi for himself and fabricating evidence

Venod Skantha is on trial in the High Court in Dunedin - charged with murdering 16-year-old Amber-Rose Rush in her Corstorphine home, late on the night of February 2 last year.

Amber-Rose Rush murder trial: Teen witness accused of trying to trap, implicate Venod Skantha
Dunedin doctor murder trial: Teen tells of cleaning knife used to kill Amber-Rose Rush
Boyfriend worried about Amber-Rose Rush on night of death, court told
Dunedin doctor murder trial: Amber-Rose Rush dies within minutes of stabbing

A teenage associate of Skantha has detailed to the court over the past two days how he drove Skantha to Amber-Rose's house the night she was killed and helped destroy evidence.


He says he was acting out of fear Skantha would hurt him or his family.

But Skantha's lawyer Jonathan Eaton QC suggested the Crown's young witness was actually the one who went into Amber-Rose's room and attacked her.

In cross examination today he told the court about a phone call the teen made to a friend - while he waited for Skantha around the corner from Amber-Rose's house.

"You asked him to put the phone on speaker, and told him you were scared something was going down – and that you might be an accomplice to murder."

Dr Venod Skantha is on trial for the murder of Amber-Rose Rush in the Dunedin High Court. Photo / Otago Daily Times
Dr Venod Skantha is on trial for the murder of Amber-Rose Rush in the Dunedin High Court. Photo / Otago Daily Times

The teen said he was just exaggerating to his friends.

Eaton accused the youth of setting Skantha up.

"Do you know what an alibi is? Were you making that call to give yourself an alibi?"

"I put it to you you made that call to establish you were alone, and Venod had gone off somewhere."


The teen denied this.

Eaton said there were inconsistencies with the teen's interviews with police.

The youth told his friend and police he had to end the call because he could see Venod coming back to the car.

He back-tracked in court and said that wasn't true.

Eaton put it to the witness that he thought he was pretty clever making the call.

"But two or three weeks later you realised you'd stuffed it up with Venod coming back to the car too soon, so now you're saying you lied to police."

"He couldn't have been in there committing a murder several minutes later if he was back at the car."

Eaton suggested to the teen Skantha never left the car and he was the one who went into Amber-Rose's house that night, using a spare key he knew was hidden under a Buddha statue.

He alleged the teen turned the kitchen light on, and went down the hall to the victim's room.

"Did you get upset and do something you regret?"

The teen earlier claimed he left a drop of blood on Skantha's dress shoes on purpose - and hid them out of sight in his girlfriend's Balclutha garage.

Eaton suggested it was unlikely Skantha would just forget about the shoes - especially after specifically asking the teen to clean them for him.

He pointed out there were also inconsistencies between the teen's police interviews about where the shoes were cleaned - in Balclutha or at Skantha's Duxford Crescent home.

"At Duxford - you must have put some blood on these shoes."

The teen was adamant his testimony was true - and he never hurt Amber-Rose.