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The Trial

English, Old Time Radio, 1 season, 18 episodes, 6 hours, 3 minutes
About
In May 2017, 49-year-old builder Michael McGrath disappeared, almost without trace. No crime scene was ever found. No weapon was ever found. No body was ever found. So how could his longtime friend be arrested and charged with murder? In February 2023, the trial of David Charles Benbow finally began. Benbow stood accused of murdering McGrath because he’d started a relationship with Benbow’s former partner, Joanna Green. The prosecution said that, while based entirely on circumstantial evidence, its case was so comprehensive there could be no doubt Benbow was guilty. The defence said detectives were biased, working hard to build a case against Benbow after he was identified as a prime suspect - by Green. Stuff, New Zealand’s award-winning leader in true crime podcasts (Black Hands, The Commune, Gone Fishing) presents The Trial. Journalists from The Press newsroom in Christchurch spent weeks at the High Court and pored over hundreds of hours of recordings to create a compelling and in-depth insight into New Zealand’s criminal justice system. Hear the evidence. Follow the twists and turns. Wait - for the verdict. WARNING: This series contains some strong language and content that may upset some people. For full written coverage of the trial by The Press, visit stuff.co.nz. Need more great true crime podcasts? Check out Stuff's full catalogue here. CREDITS Scripted, hosted and produced by Michael Wright Sound design, audio editing and mixing by Connor Scott Visual design: Kathryn George Legal checks: Genevieve O'Halloran and Courtney Grenfell Associate producer: Jen Black Consulting producer: Adam Dudding Executive producer: Chris Reed Special thanks: Kamala Hayman, Martin van Beynen and Jake Kenny from The Press; John Cooper, Tyson Jemmett, Laura Heathcote, Amanda Montgomerie, Philippa Tolley and Candice Robertson.
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Introducing: The Lost Boy - The disappearance of Mike Zhao-Beckenridge

One ordinary day almost a decade ago, John Beckenridge abducted his stepson, Mike, from school and vanished. From New Zealand’s leader in true crime podcasts, this is the story of a calculating man with a dark past, the 11-year-old boy he controlled and the distraught mother left behind. Click here to get the next episode of The Lost Boy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/21/202430 minutes, 31 seconds
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Benbow's new legal battle

There’s another twist in this trial. Stay subscribed to hear the latest developments. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/25/202457 seconds
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'I despise you': the victims speak

Almost seven years after murdering his mate Michael McGrath, David Benbow is sentenced for his crime. But not before facing McGrath's loved ones in court, including the third person in the love triangle that prompted Benbow to kill. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/6/202411 minutes, 22 seconds
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BONUS: An Exciting Update

The verdict is in - The Trial is an international hit. We've just received some end-of-year accolades from Apple Podcasts, being named as the #1 True Crime podcast in Australia and New Zealand and the #2 new show overall. We just wanted to say a huge thanks for listening and helping us achieve this recognition. You can read more about it here. The Trial is brought to you from the newsroom of The Press in Christchurch. You can hear more podcasts from The Press and the wider Stuff team here. Stay tuned for season two! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/29/20231 minute, 27 seconds
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Episode 8: Resolution

After months of evidence from dozens of witnesses across two trials, the jury returns - with a verdict. Michael McGrath's family reacts and Martin Van Beynen offers expert analysis - including what David Benbow might do next. WARNING: This episode contains discussion of mental health and suicide. If you or anyone you know needs help, free call or text 1737 for assistance from a trained counsellor, 24 hours a day. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/13/202322 minutes, 57 seconds
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Episode 7: The retrial of David Benbow

With the jury in the original trial unable to reach a verdict, David Charles Benbow finds himself back in the dock. And three key areas of evidence are updated as the prosecution tries once more to secure a conviction. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/11/202346 minutes, 16 seconds
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From Newsable: The Mama Hooch sentencing

From Newsable: Stuff's daily news podcast all about what everyone’s talking about! Two brothers who drugged or committed sexual offences against 23 young patrons at Christchurch bar Mama Hooch have been sentenced in the District Court. Danny Jaz has been sentenced to 16 and a half years in prison and Roberto Jaz to 17. Both will serve at least half of that time before being eligible for parole. Newsable hosts Emile and Imogen talk to Blair Ensor from the Press newsroom, who covered the brothers' trial, about the hearing, and the reaction in the courtroom. Warning: Discusses issues related to suicide and sexual offences. For free help, text or call 1737, 24 hours a day. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/24/20236 minutes, 23 seconds
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Newsable: The implications of the Lauren Dickason trial

Introducing Newsable: Stuff's daily news podcast all about what everyone’s talking about! The Lauren Dickason trial highlighted some issues we don’t discuss much in New Zealand - the mental health of mothers, for example. Today, Kristina Grace, founder of the Mothers Helpers support group, urges people to be kinder to mums who might need help. And law expert Professor Chris Gallavin tackles the legal fallout - including whether current justice rules are fit for purpose. For more information about Mothers Helpers, click here. WARNING: This podcast covers issues that may be distressing for some, including mental health. For free help, text or call 1737, 24 hours. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/18/202317 minutes, 1 second
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Episode 6: Not quite the end

After listening intently to more than 100 witnesses over two months, the jury left the courtroom to begin its deliberations. Those left behind waited. And waited. But even when the wait was over, the Benbow trial still held a twist or two. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/27/202336 minutes, 2 seconds
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Episode 5: 'Did you do it?'

As the investigation intensified, David Benbow's behaviour prompted questions from close friends, and police exploited his interest in the media coverage with a cunning press release. With the jury asked to consider the importance of Benbow's missing rifle - the alleged murder weapon - the defence dismisses the Crown case as hollow, "like a cheap Easter egg". Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/22/202342 minutes, 28 seconds
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Episode 4: The burden of proof

After playing parts of David Benbow's police interviews to the court, the prosecution makes much of his inability to fully account for his movements on the day - and day after - he allegedly murdered Michael McGrath. But the defence underlines one key fact: there is no physical evidence Benbow did anything wrong. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/21/202331 minutes, 58 seconds
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An important legal development

The Trial host Michael Wright provides an important update on the defence application - supported by the Crown - to have this podcast removed from the internet and to prevent the publication of further episodes.
6/20/20232 minutes, 36 seconds
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Another update

Another update on The Trial. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/27/20231 minute, 54 seconds
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A brief update

A brief update on The Trial. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/6/20231 minute, 24 seconds
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Episode 3: Monday, 9am

Did Michael McGrath keep an appointment to shift some wood at David Benbow’s place? The prosecution says that’s where - and when - he was murdered. But the defence has doubts about Crown evidence involving the finer points of power consumption and CCTV footage. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/31/202335 minutes, 3 seconds
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Episode 2 : The love triangle

One relationship faltered and another blossomed. Police argued that was a motive for murder. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/29/202338 minutes, 46 seconds
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Episode 1 : The disappearance of Michael McGrath

When Michael McGrath started looking less scruffy, his friends started talking. When he failed to show for his weekly dinner with his mum, his new partner, Joanna Green, called the police, kickstarting an investigation that took six years to reach court. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/29/202334 minutes, 51 seconds
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The Trial - Trailer

In May 2017 49-year-old builder Michael McGrath disappeared - almost without trace. No crime scene was ever found. No weapon was ever found. No body was ever found. So how could his longtime friend be arrested and charged with murder? In February 2023, the trial of David Charles Benbow finally began. Benbow stood accused of murdering McGrath because he’d started a relationship with Benbow’s former partner, Joanna Green. The prosecution said that, while based entirely on circumstantial evidence, its case was so comprehensive there could be no doubt Benbow was guilty. The defence said detectives were biased, working hard to build a case against Benbow after he was identified as a prime suspect - by Green. Stuff, New Zealand’s award-winning leader in true crime podcasts (Black Hands, The Commune, Gone Fishing) presents The Trial. Journalists from the Christchurch Press newsroom spent weeks at the High Court and pored over hundreds of hours of recordings to create a compelling and in-depth insight into New Zealand’s criminal justice system. Hear the evidence. Follow the twists and turns. Wait - for the verdict. WARNING: This series contains some strong language and content that may upset some people. For full written coverage of the trial from The Press newsroom in Christchurch, visit stuff.co.nz. Need more great true crime podcasts? Check out Stuff's full catalogue here. CREDITS Scripted, hosted and produced by Michael Wright Sound design, audio editing and mixing by Connor Scott Visual design: Kathryn George Associate producer: Jen Black. Consulting producer: Adam Dudding Legal checks: Genevieve O'Halloran and Courtney Grenfell Executive producer: Chris Reed Special thanks: Kamala Hayman, Martin van Beynen and Jake Kenny from The Press newsroom Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/24/20231 minute, 39 seconds