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Murderer's marriage 'revolting': Minister

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 27/06/2017

A convicted rapist and murderer's marriage to his former lawyer in a ceremony inside Auckland Prison is "revolting" and "appalling", the Corrections Minister says.

Liam Reid is serving a minimum 23-year sentence for the 2007 rape and murder of Christchurch woman Emma Agnew, and the rape and attempted murder of a 21-year-old student in Dunedin days later.

On Tuesday. he tied the knot with Davina Murray, who was found guilty of smuggling him an iPhone, cigarettes and a lighter, while he was her client in Mt Eden Prison in 2011.

The unlikely love-match appals Corrections Minister Louise Upston, who says it is an affront to Reid's victims.

"I find it revolting. I find it absolutely distasteful. Unfortunately, it is not illegal to get married in this country," she said.

"I am thinking of Emma Agnew's family because they won't get to see [their daughter] married."

While Ms Upston said banning inmates from marrying would be a hard measure to get approved, she did want to see greater rigour around who gets to visit prisoners in jail.

"In this instance, [Murray] is convicted of bringing contraband into a prison," she said.

"I'm actually quite keen to look at whether lifetime bans for people who take contraband into prison, is an option."

Corrections chief custodial officer Neil Beales confirmed the wedding took place on Tuesday, with the Auckland Prison director approving it.

The director "must be satisfied that there is no threat to the safety, security or good order of the prison or any person", he said.

"Although a rare occurrence, weddings or civil union ceremonies are not restricted in prisons and each application is considered on a case by case basis," he said.

Mr Beales said Auckland Prison had appropriate security in place for the wedding, which was held at no cost to the prison and did not affect its normal operation.

He said it was standard for prisoners, such as Reid, to pay for catering from the prison kitchen for special events, such as family days and graduations.

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