Stuff and The Press are fighting the court’s bid to remove The Trial podcast

Lawyers for murder accused David Benbow have asked the court for orders to remove a podcast about his trial from internet platforms.

The Stuff podcast, The lawsuitof which three episodes (of five) have been released, covers the Benbow trial that began on February 14 and ended with a hung jury on Monday.

The Crown will almost certainly try Benbow again, although a date has yet to be set. Benbow has been bailed back to an address in Dargaville.

David Benbow and his lawyer Kris Bucher leave the Christchurch Justice Precinct after a hung jury in his trial that charged him with murder.

Peter Meecham/Stuff

David Benbow and his lawyer Kris Bucher leave the Christchurch Justice Precinct after a hung jury in his trial that charged him with murder.

The podcast uses audio from the trial to provide insight into how complex trials are conducted and completed in New Zealand.

READ MORE:
* Frustration, uncertainty and more waiting after hung jury in David Benbow murder case
* Cheat Sheet: What Happens in the David Benbow Trial?
* Stuff launches the latest true crime podcast, The Trial
* Crown case as a cheap Easter egg, says the defense in the David Benbow trial

The Press and Stuff Canterbury editor Kamala Hayman said Benbow’s lawyers applied Tuesday to the High Court in Christchurch for a removal order of The lawsuit based on which the podcast could harm Benbow’s new trial.

There is a hearing on the case on Wednesday.

Out of respect for the procedure, she declined to comment further, she said.

Benbow, 54, allegedly killed Christchurch carpenter Michael McGrath, 49, on May 22, 2017, as he was furious about dating his ex-partner Joanna Green and worried about the asset split.

Are claimed he shot McGrath with his .22 rifle after inviting him to his home on Candys Rd‚ÄčHalswell, under the pretext that he needed help moving railway sleepers, then disposed of his body. McGrath’s firearm and body were never found.

The defense argued that McGrath had not appeared on Benbow’s property on May 22, and that he was not in a better position than anyone else to know what had happened to McGrath. It accused police of tunnel vision and failure to investigate other possibilities for McGrath’s disappearance.

Benbow was only charged with the murder in September 2019 after a meticulous police investigation, which included a 45-day search of the Kate Valley Landfill. He spent more than two years in prison before being released on bail at a Dargaville property.

Police and scientists also spent 10 days on the Benbow property, but found no forensic evidence to support the murder charge.