Michael McGrath's killer-accused named

Michael McGrath.
Michael McGrath. Photo credit: Supplied

The man accused of killing Halswell man Michael McGrath can now be named.

David Benbow, 51, pleaded not guilty to murdering the builder, during his first court appearance on Tuesday at the Christchurch District Court. 

He previously had name suppression.

McGrath's brother Simon told Newshub he is happy with the development.

"We're elated, it's certainly a good start to finish the matter. It's been such a long journey."

McGrath, 49, went missing from his home on May 21, 2017.

Police announced on Monday they had arrested someone in relation to the death.

"Our thoughts are with the McGrath family today as they come to terms with the fact that the arrest confirms their worst fears," said Christchurch Detective Inspector Kylie Schaare.

"While Michael's family were realistic that Michael would not be found alive, I am sure a small part of them hoped they were wrong."

McGrath's body still hasn't been found, but police said they were continuing the search.

"We're really committed to finding Michael for his family and we certainly haven't given up and we'll be trying to find him and give him back to his family," Det Insp Shaare said.

"I really want to acknowledge the team because it's taken real resilience and persistence to get to the point we're at, and that's really come through their hard work and commitment and to do the best by Michael's family."

Police still want to hear from anyone who has any information relating to McGrath's death.


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