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Trial of man accused of killing Dunedin teen won’t be moved

Venod Skantha - Photo: RNZ / Tim Brown

The man accused of murdering Dunedin teenager Amber-Rose Rush will stand trial in the city after the High Court quashed his bid to have it moved.

Venod Skantha, who at the time of the 16-year-old's death was a doctor at Dunedin Hospital, has been charged with murdering Miss Rush in February last year.

The 31-year-old sought to have the trial moved, claiming he could not have a fair trial in Dunedin.

However, Justice Gerald Nation has declined the application.

In a case summary released today, Justice Nation said the trial could proceed in Dunedin.

"[Justice Nation] was satisfied that it would be possible to hold Dr Skantha's trial in Dunedin before a jury which will be able to reach a verdict solely on the evidence, uninfluenced by feelings of prejudice or sympathy," the summary said.

Mr Skantha remained in custody after bids for bail were rejected.

He pleaded not guilty to the murder in May last year and also pleaded not guilty to charges of four counts of threatening to kill and one of indecent assault.

The names of the victims in those matters are suppressed.

Miss Rush was killed late on 2 February at her Corstorphine home in Dunedin. Her body was discovered by her family the following morning.

The trial is set down for March this year.


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