3 Jul 2012

Public flocked to Guy trial

3:43 pm on 3 July 2012

The Scott Guy murder trial has drawn huge public interest, with people waiting for hours in line to secure seats in a packed public gallery at the High Court in Wellington.

More than 50 people queued on Monday for eight seats in the public gallery for the trial's final session - and it has been that way for much of the trial.

Defence lawyer Greg King, a veteran of many high profile murder cases, says he can't remember ever seeing so many people queue to get into court.

One of those who waited, John Horrell, of Wellington, says he is not normally interested in murder trials, but this one is a stand-out.

Lynne Smith, also from Wellington, says it has piqued her interest because it is easy to imagine being in the shoes of both families.

Canterbury University of sociology professor Greg Newbold believes the case has sparked the public's interest because it has all the ingredients of a fictional thriller.

He says the fact the trial involves a 'normal' middle-class family makes it even more fascinating to ordinary New Zealanders.

Farmer Peter Norman says the case is interesting for farmers because conflict over management of farms is a common issue.

The trial has made the headlines most days. New Zealand Broadcasting School media commentator Paul Norris says the media has sensed the public appetite for the case and fed it.