21 May 2018

Amber-Rose Rush murder accused named

4:43 pm on 21 May 2018

A man accused of murdering Dunedin teenager Amber-Rose Rush can now be identified as Dunedin doctor Venod Skantha.

The 30-year-old remains in custody after being charged with murder in early February.

Mr Skantha had sought suppression until his trial next March, but Justice Gerald Nation denied that bid and an appeal to the Court of Appeal was dismissed.

Venod Skantha

Venod Skantha Photo: RNZ / Tim Brown

The Court of Appeal heard the matter last month, only days after he sought electronically-monitored bail.

His bail bid was dismissed by the High Court.

Ms Rush, 16, was killed late on 2 February at her Corstorphine home in Dunedin. Her body was discovered by her family the following morning.

Since her death her family has sought the right to name her accused killer, even appearing in court wearing T-shirts bearing her face and posting his identity on social media.

Mr Skantha was also charged with four counts of threatening-to-kill relating to an incident in Balclutha on 3 February and another charge relating to an incident alleged to have occurred a month earlier, the details of which remain suppressed.

The accused pleaded not guilty to all charges in March.

He is next due to appear this week.

Amber-Rose Rush.

Amber-Rose Rush. Photo: Supplied