Inmates at New Zealand's toughest prison are "bewildered" over the decision to allow one of the most notorious rapist and murderers in the country to marry.
The Herald revealed last night that Liam James Reid was set to marry disgraced lawyer Davina Murray in Auckland Prison at Paremoremo today.
Murray lost her legal career after smuggling an iPhone, cigarettes and a lighter to her client Reid in 2011 while he was in Mt Eden prison.
Reid was serving a 23-year sentence for raping and killing deaf woman Emma Agnew in Christchurch in 2007, as well as the rape, attempted murder and robbery of a 21-year-old student in Dunedin nine days later.
A prison source said the wedding was scheduled for 10am today.
A source within the prison told the Herald that inmates were "bewildered" about the decision to let Reid marry.
He said Reid was housed in protective segregation and was "certainly not popular" with other inmates.
"Reid is generally despised," he said.
Inmates had heard the wedding would take place in the West Division of the maximum security prison and Reid and his "guests" would be transported there from segregation.
The source said Reid's best man was Malcolm Chaston who was jailed for life in 2011 with a minimum non-parole period of 20 years for the murder of Christchurch woman Vanessa Pickering.
The 27-year-old mother was killed and dumped at Godley Head on Christchurch's Port Hills in early 2010.
The source said other inmates from protective segregation were also thought to be attending including David Obiaga who was jailed in 2015 for his part in an international drug cartel behind the importation of $2.5 million of methamphetamine.
He understood the "function" was being catered - at Reid's expense - by the prison kitchen.
"It's being catered with quality food generally only served to staff and the Parole Board," the source said.
"Such food is not available to ordinary inmates, even if they pay."
He said photos would be taken - but it was unclear who would be behind the camera.
Taking photographs of inmates is usually not allowed in New Zealand prisons.
The Herald has sought comment from Corrections Minister Louise Upston, chief executive Ray Smith and the family of Emma Agnew.
Victim advocate Ruth Money said she was "shaking with anger" over the news Reid was being permitted to marry.
"This decision defies believe and any common sense," she said.
"It illustrates yet again another disconnect with how the public expects the Department of Corrections to behave.
"It also demonstrates substandard offender management and a total lack of disrespect for the Agnews and any of Reid's victims families."
Money said Reid was "one of New Zealand's worst sex offenders" and she was "horrified" to hear Auckland Prison allowing "and actually enabling" him.
"Marriage is a privilege not a right and the person responsible for approving this offensive decision should be reminded of that and re-familiarise themselves with society's expectation of a prison manager's role," she said.
"Murray's trial in 2013 shows evidence of her wishing to smuggle witnesses in to the jail to witness her wedding. For the prison to now reward this behaviour is delusional."