18 May 2017

Police officer charged with murder appears in court

11:25 am on 18 May 2017

Invercargill policeman Ben McLean has appeared in court charged with murder but entered no plea.

Invercargill District Court

Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer

Constable McLean, 47, is accused of murdering his estranged wife Verity McLean, and attempting to murder her new partner, Garry Duggan.

Police were called to a house on Otepuni Avenue in Newfield on Anzac Day, where they found Mrs McLean's body, and Mr Duggan with gunshot wounds.

Mr McLean appeared in the Invercargill High Court, via audio-visual link from Christchurch Prison, before Justice Gerald Nation.

His lawyer, Bill Dawkins, said he was not ready to enter a plea until he received more forensic evidence from police, which would not be available for a month.

He said he was not criticising police and did not wish to cause delays.

Justice Nation approved his request but noted he would need to enter a plea at Mr McLean's next appearance, set down for July.

Mr McLean was remanded in custody.