William Murphy. Photo by NZ Herald
A man accused of assaulting elderly women in their homes
denied he is the man charged with the crimes, insisted on being
referred to by a different name and fired his lawyer when he
appeared in court this morning.
William John Murphy, 36, faces a number of charges in
relation to the assault of elderly women in Auckland and
He appeared before Auckland District Court today via
video-link, but refused to confirm his identity to Judge Emma
Aitken, first telling her to "ask the prosecution", before
insisting "I'm not going to tell you that".
He was stood down for a period, during which he faxed a
letter to the judge informing her he was Rangatira Wiremu
When Murphy next appeared via video-link he said he wanted to
be referred to as Rangitira.
He later denied he was the same person as the man charged
with the assaults earlier this year, saying: "The capitalised
entity that's on the charge documents is not me."
However, Judge Aitken said she did not accept this.
Murphy was representing himself in court, after his legal aid
lawyer Peter Eastwood withdrew from the case.
Judge Aitken said Murphy didn't consent to Mr Eastwood's
representation, and cited a breakdown in relationships.
Murphy also insisted he wanted time to "gain the right legal
advice from somebody that's going to listen to my arguments".
He was granted a week to seek advice from a new lawyer,
during which time police also have to file their formal
written statements, which they have asked to amend.
Police publicly named Murphy as a person of interest while
investigating an attack on a 74-year-old woman in Pakuranga
in June. He was arrested after a pursuit on Auckland's
Northern Motorway on June 24.
- By Patrice Dougan of APNZ