11 Jun 2009

Davis jury verdict: guilty

7:55 pm on 11 June 2009

A Christchurch roading worker has been found guilty of the rape and murder of schoolgirl Marie Davis.

Dean Cameron, 39, has been on trial in the High Court in Christchurch where the jury on Thursday afternoon delivered its verdict.

There were cheers and tears from a full public gallery when the jury foreman delivered guilty verdicts on charges of rape and murder.

Cameron remained expressionless in the dock.

Justice Chisholm automatically sentenced him to life imprisonment and will consider the Crown's application for preventive detention in August.

Outside the court, Ms Davis' mother, Janet, said she was relieved the jury had reached the right verdict, but it would not bring back her daughter.

Ms Davis' body was discovered in the Waimakariri River in April last year.

The Crown had said its "solid" evidence proved Cameron was guilty: his semen was found on the 15-year-old's body, his blood was on the floor of her home and telecommunications records showed his cellphone was near both her house and the river at relevant times.

The defence had argued that an alcohol-affected Ms Davis might have consented to sex with Cameron and that there was no evidence his blood was left on the floor of her house on the night of her death.

It had also argued that little weight should be put on cellphone records, which it said were incomplete.