Dunedin doctor appealing conviction for murdering teenager Amber-Rose Rush

A Dunedin doctor convicted of murdering a teenage girl after she threatened his career is back in court to fight his sentence.

On Monday morning a panel of judges will hear arguments appealing Venod Skantha's conviction.

The 32-year-old was convicted of the murder of 16-year-old Amber-Rose Rush in November 2019, and sentenced to life in prison with a minimum non-parole period of 19 years.

Rush was found dead in her bed after her throat was cut at her home in Corstorphine in February 2018. 

Rush and Skantha met in 2017, when she was 15. The court heard Skantha would supply alcohol to minors and offer them money to have sex with him.

Texts between Rush and Skantha shown during the trial revealed she intended to tell the police about his behaviour - jeopardising his already tenuous career.

Rush had text messages showing Skantha was supplying alcohol to minors and offering them money to have sex, Crown lawyer Richard Smith said during the trial.

She also had messages accusing him of offering her money for sex with him and indecently assaulting her at a party.

When she said she planned to go to the police, texts showed Skantha asking: "So you're serious?"

"You best believe I am. I'm doing the world a favour. People like you don't deserve to walk freely," Rush replied.

Skantha was on his final warning at the hospital for showing up off-duty after he had been drinking, and treating a patient.

Half an hour after the text exchange, Rush was dead.

The Crown says Skantha got a teenage acquaintance to drive him to the teen's home, where he used a spare key to get inside. He then slit the 16-year-old's throat and stabbed her in the neck six times - the injuries were unsurvivable. She was discovered by her family in the morning.

Skantha has maintained his innocence, with his defence arguing it was a home intruder who killed Rush.