Convicted rapist and murderer Liam Reid is appearing today in the High Court at Auckland where he is taking action against a television production company.
In November the Herald revealed Reid had applied for an injunction against a South Pacific Pictures production about the forensic evidence used to convict him.
Reid is serving a life sentence with a 23-year minimum non parole period for raping and killing deaf woman Emma Agnew in Christchurch in 2007.
He was also convicted of the rape, attempted murder and robbery of a 21-year-old student in Dunedin nine days later.
The show, Forensics NZ, is a multi-episode prime-time documentary series.
Each episode focuses on a single crime from the past decade that was solved by the combination of crime investigation and forensic science.
The cases cover blood spatter, DNA, tool marking, digital forensics, toxicology, entomology, and the latest in cutting-edge scientific technology.
Cases aired so far include the murders of Auckland woman Carmen Thomas, Christchurch schoolgirl Marie Davis and Alicia McCallion, who was killed in the sleepout of her family home by her ex-boyfriend.
Reid has indicated in court that he intends to reopen his case and seek a further appeal or retrial.
He is arguing that the show could present a “real risk of prejudging matters or issues that are to be imminently before the courts especially in the event that [Reid’s] appeals are allowed in whole or part thereby resulting in a retrial”.
Reid was convicted and sentenced for the rapes and murder in 2008.
In 2009 an appeal against his conviction was dismissed in the Court of Appeal.
In 2012, the Supreme Court dismissed Reid’s application to appeal further.
The only realistic option Reid has left in terms of appealing his conviction and sentence would be to apply for a Royal Prerogative of Mercy.
There has been no application for such proceedings.
Reid is appearing in court in person. His wife, disgraced lawyer Davina Reid, is in court to support him.
The couple controversially married at Auckland Prison in June.
Reid represented her now-husband for a time, but lost her legal career after smuggling an iPhone, cigarettes and a lighter to him in 2011 in Mt Eden prison.
Simon Mount, representing South Pacific Pictures, said Reid had “exhausted all criminal appeal rights”.
He said for that reason, the airing of Reid’s case on Forensics NZ would not affect his case.
“For that reason, [Reid] falls well short of establishing an arguable claim that the case is sub-judice, or any other basis for relief.”
After hearing from both sides, Justice Kit Toogood reserved his decision on the matter.
This is not the first time Reid has taken action to try to prevent television shows airing information about his case.
In December last year he went to the High Court to try to stop TVNZ broadcasting a show about him.
Radio New Zealand reported Reid told the court that a programme they featured on their website and which could be viewed by its audience on demand, contained inaccuracies that could affect his right to a fair trial.
He maintains he never raped or killed Agnew and that he has been wrongly convicted.
Anna Leask is senior police reporter for the New Zealand Herald.