Grace Millane: Leo Molloy named as Auckland man who allegedly breached suppression

The Auckland businessman charged with breaching name suppression in relation to the Grace Millane case can be named as Leo Molloy.

In November, a 27-year-old man was found guilty of killing the British backpacker in an Auckland hotel room in December 2018. He continues to have his name protected by court order. 

Molloy, the owner of Auckland's Headquarters restaurant, is accused of breaching the suppression order on November 22 - the same day Millane's killer was convicted - November 29.

The 63-year-old restauranteur pleaded not guilty to the charges on Friday and will reappear in the Auckland District Court on May 4.

Police have investigated six notifications of alleged breaches of suppression orders relating to the Millane case. Two were from overseas and outside of police's jurisdiction, there was one with insufficient evidence available to charge anyone, and two where police exercised discretion and warned the individuals concerned. 

Breaching suppression can result in six months imprisonment or a fine of up to $100,000 depending on the circumstances.

On the day after Millane's killer's conviction, the case's lead detective, Detective Inspector Scott Beard, issued a warning to the public. 

"Although the homicide trial concluded yesterday, a suppression order which prevents naming the defendant remains in place and will do so until lifted by the court," said Det Insp Beard.

"While we appreciate the public feeling around this case, we do want to remind the public that it is an offence to breach a court order such as a name suppression - this includes naming someone on social media."

Justice Minister Andrew Little said last year that breaching the murderer's name suppression is a serious breach of judicial law.

"The suppression orders handed down by the New Zealand court have to be adhered to in New Zealand," he said.

"If that means a name is suppressed for whatever period of time then we've got to abide by that."

Millane's murderer will be sentenced on February 21 at the Auckland High Court.