Liam Reid found guilty of Emma Agnew's murder

Liam James Reid has been found guilty of the murder and rape of Emma Agnew by a jury at the High Court in Christchurch this morning.

He has also been found guilty of the rape and attempted murder of a student in Dunedin nine day's after Ms Agnew's murder.

Reid stood quietly and then nodded as Justice Lester Chisholm sentenced him to life, and then remanded him to December 12 so the preventive detention application can be heard.

Two health assessors' reports will be prepared during the remand to assess his risk of future offending.

Members of the deaf community sobbed in the back of the court as the verdicts were delivered and interpreted in sign language for them. There was one loud call from the public gallery, but otherwise only silence.

Reid has been on trial for 17 days on six charges: raping and murdering Miss Agnew, and raping, sexually violating, attempting to murder and robbing a woman in Dunedin nine days later.

Justice Chisholm thanked the jury, saying they had shouldered a heavy responsibility with a long and emotionally draining trial.

He also thanked the five lawyers involved for their skill in presenting the crown and defence cases.

Outside the court, the family of Miss Agnew said how much they missed her and suggested Reid had to be locked up for the rest of his life. The family was feeling really relieved.

Miss Agnew's brother said: "I feel like it's just not fair. We can't bring our sister back to life."

The family thanked the police, the lawyers, and the interpreters for their work on the case.

Asked how difficult it had been to sit in court and listen to Reid giving evidence, the brother said: "Liam needs to grow up."

Asked about how Reid had shown no remorse, the family said: "We can't do anything about that."

Their thoughts were also with Reid's Dunedin rape victim.

Reid 36, was found guilty on all six counts.

During the trial over 100 witnesses were called.

Reid gave evidence in his own defence claiming that he had been framed.

It can now be revealed that he was well known to police as a disturbed, violent and sexually depraved offender who in 2002 was charged with the abduction, rape and attempted murder of a woman.

He was found not guilty but while in custody for the trial he assaulted a paedophile with a broomstick and was sentenced to 21 months in prison.

Reid was born Julian Heath Edgecumbe and was abandoned by his parents at the age of three.

He changed his name by deed poll in 2005.

3 News / NZPA

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