22 May 2018

Naming of murder-accused no consolation: mother

4:34 pm on 22 May 2018

By Rob Kidd for the Otago Daily Times

The mother of a teenager allegedly murdered by a Dunedin doctor said having his name published did nothing to ease her anguish.

Venod Skantha

Venod Skantha Photo: RNZ / Tim Brown

Venod Skantha, 30, is accused of killing Amber-Rose Rush,16, on 2 February at her Corstorphine home and has had name suppression since he was charged.

Last month, Justice Gerald Nation ruled suppression should lapse but the defendant immediately appealed the matter.

The Court of Appeal released its judgement yesterday upholding the judge's decision.

Amber-Rose Rush.

Amber-Rose Rush. Photo: Supplied

Amber-Rose's mother, Lisa Ann, said having Mr Skantha's name released was not enough to lighten the grief she continued to endure.

"Not at all,'' she said. "Nothing makes this any better.''

She said the repeated court appearances also sharpened the pain.

"I can't deal with this on top of the loss of my child. I don't think anyone understands.'' she told the Otago Daily Times.

"We have to sit there quiet and not say anything. All I want to do is stand up and say how amazing she is.''

She was ready for "the truth to come out'' but said whatever the result, there was no such thing as justice for her.

As well as the murder charge, Mr Skantha has also denied four charges of threatening to kill.

He lists his place of work on Facebook as "Dunedin Public Hospital'' and, according to the Medical Council database, he graduated from Auckland University in 2014.

The website previously said he was registered to practise medicine in the position of "house officer'' at the Southern District Health Board.

His practising certificate was due to lapse in February but a search of his name on the site no longer yields any results.

Amber-Rose was found dead by family members at her Corstorphine home the day after her alleged murder.

This story originally appeared in the Otago Daily Times.