Christchurch mosque shootings: Man appears in court

Armed police are guarding the courthouse in Christchurch. Photo: Gregor Richardson
A 28-year-old man has appeared in court this morning charged with murder after yesterday’s Christchurch mosque shootings.
Brenton Harrison Tarrant, whose address was given as Andersons Bay in Dunedin, made an appearance from custody at Christchurch District Court.
He appeared in white prison clothing, with manacled hands, and barefoot. He smirked when media photographed him in the dock, flanked by two police officers.
Tarrant is accused of murdering a man, whose name was suppressed by Judge Paul Kellar on grounds of undue hardship to his family, in Christchurch yesterday.
Tarrant was remanded in custody without plea to the High Court in Christchurch on April 5.
Duty lawyer Richard Peters said no application for bail would be made. No application for name suppression was made.
However, while Judge Kellar granted in court photographs and filming, he ordered that his face be pixelated to preserve any fair trial rights.
No occupation for Tarrant was listed on the charging document.
The courtroom was closed to the public.
Three approved New Zealand media outlets were granted in-court applications to film and take photographs. They were escorted into court by security staff.
The judge briefed media before the hearing.

A member of the public, who was denied entry to Christchurch District Court, said he wanted to get in and “knife” the man accused of yesterday’s terror attack.

He showed the Herald a knife he had brought to court.

“What the f*** has happened here,” he said of the mass killing.

The court is only open to accredited media.

A prisoner van arrived at the Christchurch Justice Precinct building earlier in the morning escorted by armed police vehicles.

The court has been closed to the public for security reasons, although media are allowed to attend.

The police Eagle helicopter – which flew from Auckland to assist local police yesterday – is circling the court precinct.

More armed police have arrived to patrol the area on foot.

It’s not clear where the accused, 28, was held last night.

The Herald understands he is expected to represent himself at the hearing this morning at the Christchurch District Court.

The media presence – including international agencies – outside the court is growing.

Some family members of those gunned down at the Al Noor mosque have also been at court.

Several told the Herald they wanted to “have a look” at the man accused of slaying their loved ones.

A vehicle drove slowly past court and a man screamed out “rot in f****** hell”.

Many others are driving past the precinct and other members of the public have started to gather as the appearance time draws nearer.