David Owen Lyttle will stand trial again for the murder of Whanganui man Brett Hall.

A retrial has been ordered after the first trial was abandoned on Thursday due to a police slip-up.

Halcombe man Lyttle, 53, was on trial in the High Court at Palmerston North for allegedly murdering Hall, his friend of 20 years.

David Owen Lyttle in the dock in the High Court at Palmerston North accused of murdering Brett Hall
David Owen Lyttle in the dock in the High Court at Palmerston North accused of murdering Brett Hall

But just two weeks into what was expected to be a 10-week trial, proceedings collapsed when it was revealed police had failed to submit material to the legal team defending Lyttle.

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That prompted Judge Simon France to declare a mistrial.

Lyttle will have a callover hearing in Whanganui on November 3 as the Justice department tries to find a court with a 10-week window to hold the trial.

Finding a court available is an issue and the trial may end up being moved to Wellington.

Despite extensive searches, Brett Hall, 47, has not been found.
Despite extensive searches, Brett Hall, 47, has not been found.

The Crown alleged Lyttle shot, suffocated and dismembered Hall with a Stanley knife seven years ago after ill-feeling grew between the pair.

Lyttle was building Hall's dream home on his Pitangi property, 45 minutes drive north of Whanganui, but progress was slow and Hall suspected he was being ripped off.

Hall went missing on May 27, 2011, and, despite extensive searches by police, his body has never been found.