Murderer showed no signs of violence


A man given a ride by police to an Auckland mosque where an elderly cleaner was later bashed to death, showed no signs of violence, police said today.

A 21-year-old Mt Albert man has been charged with the murder of 72-year-old Mt Roskill man Alan Priestley, who was found with head injuries in the Wesley Islamic Centre early on Thursday morning.

He was taken to Auckland Hospital where he died on Saturday.

The murder accused has already appeared in Auckland District Court on an assault charge and will return to court next week after a psychiatric assessment. His name is suppressed.

Police have started an internal inquiry into how officers called to a domestic incident took the murder accused to the mosque about half an hour before Mr Priestley was found dying. The man told police he wanted to pray.

Auckland western area controller Inspector Steve Shortland said today the man showed no signs of violence.

Police officers who took the man to the mosque were due to be interviewed today, but Mr Shortland said it would be several days before police could comment on police procedures.

“So far we appeared to have done everything right but it needs to be looked at in detail.

“There was no violence or any indication of violence at all.

“With something like that where we have been involved in the events leading up to the beating obviously we are going to look at our procedures.

“What did we do, did we do it right and could we have done it better?”