Matthew Hunt jury warned off social media after video from trial played on TikTok

Laura James
Source: 1News

Jurors in the trial for those charged following the murder of Constable Matthew Hunt have been reminded not to read news or go on social media, after someone in the public gallery shared video from court on TikTok.

Justice Geoffrey Venning, who’s overseeing the trial at the High Court in Auckland said, “I’ve seen the items, they are frankly childish and insensitive”.

“I make it clear they’ve got nothing to do with you as jurors.”

“I remind you that you must put all extraneous matters like that to one side.”

The videos, taken by a member of the public attending the trial, were brought to the jury’s attention after a news article referred to them yesterday.

“The news media responsibly did not attach the post”, Venning said.

Photography inside a courtroom is not prohibited for members of the public.

1 NEWS has not seen the videos but understand the account on social media platform TikTok has now been deleted.

It’s the third day of the trial of 25-year-old Eli Epiha, who’s charged with the attempted murder of Constable David Goldfinch.

Constable Goldfinch was seriously injured with gunshot wounds and ran from the shooter, before Constable Hunt was fatally struck by four bullets.

Epiha’s already admitted to murdering Constable Hunt and to a charge of dangerous driving causing injury to a member of the public.

Jurors are also tasked with determining whether 31-year-old Natalie Bracken was an accessory after the fact of murder, allegedly helping Epiha escape from the scene.

Footage was made public yesterday of him leaving in a car, driven by Bracken.

Earlier in the trial, Crown lawyer Alysha Mcclintock told the jury: “It is not in dispute that Miss Bracken was there, what is in dispute is whether she drove Mr Epiha from the scene of the shootings knowing he had been involved in the murder of Constable Hunt and for the purpose of helping him to avoid arrest”.

Constable Matthew Hunt.

The trial continues.