Ex-lawyer's marriage to criminal 'revolting' - Corrections Minister
Corrections Minister Louise Upston is "revolted" disgraced former lawyer Davina Murray is allowed into prison to marry her former client, convicted rapist and murderer Liam Reid.
The pair tied the knot at Auckland's maximum security unit at Paremoremo Prison on Tuesday - six years after Murray was caught smuggling an iPhone, cigarettes and a lighter to Reid in prison.
"I just find it revolting," says Ms Upston. "I find that particular marriage absolutely distasteful, and I think most New Zealanders would too."
Murray was acting as Reid's lawyer after he was sentenced to a minimum of 26 years for the 2007 murder and rape of Christchurch woman Emma Agnew.
Sources have told Newshub that Reid's best man is a convicted killer and sex offender, and a drug smuggler is among the guests.
It's understood that the prison chaplain is officiating the ceremony, and the prison kitchen is providing catering at the expense of the bridal party.
"I'm thinking of Emma Agnew's family because they won't ever get to see her get married," says Ms Upston.
"For her family, it will be an absolutely tragic day for them because they know they will never see their daughter get married."
Ms Upston says banning inmates from being allowed to get married isn't something she's considering.
"I think that would be a fairly hard one to get through. But I do believe there needs to be a greater level of rigour of who gets to visit - in this instance she is convicted of [bringing] contraband into a prison."
"I'm actually quite keen to look at whether a lifetime ban for people who take contraband into prisons is an option," she says.
Murray denies the contraband claims and has appealed her conviction, but it was enough to see her disbarred as a lawyer.