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Gail McFayden - High Court trial
The High Court trial began in Wellington on 12 July 1975 before a jury of seven men and five women and was presided over by the Chief Justice, Sir Richard Wild. The late Jim Larsen appeared for the Crown, Mike Bungay and Kit Toogood for Murphy. Bungay described Larsen’s opening address as ‘fair but brilliant.’ Larsen listed all the salient features of the Crown case, indirect and circumstantial things, which he said, when combined, pointed strongly to Murphy as the offender.
Bungay wrote that Murphy’s sole defence was that the Crown had failed to identify him beyond reasonable doubt, at the scene at the crucial times. Alhough two witnesses described a man in green or grey overalls, they could not positively identify Murphy as the man they had seen and their descriptions were at variance to Murphy’s physical characteristics.

In his summing up to the jury, Bungay said all the Crown had proved was that Murphy had stolen Gail’s bag and had burnt items from it, which did not constitute murder.

He told them there was enough variation in witnesses’ testimony about times and appearance, to cast a reasonable doubt.

Bungay was highly critical of Sir Richard’s summing up and sets it out in full, interspersed with his own comments, in 21 pages of Bungay on Murder. He describes Sir Richard as ‘no fuddy-duddy judge who goes on and on’. He was a brilliant orator and advocate who

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