Body buried in backyard: Funeral for Christchurch homicide victim to be held this week

The man allegedly murdered by his partner at his Christchurch home and buried in the backyard just after Christmas will be farewelled this week.

Martin Orme Berry, 55, was allegedly murdered on December 29 at his home on Main North Rd in the northern suburb of Papanui.

His partner Rena Maloney – also known as Rena Joyce – has been charged with murder.

Court documents reveal she is charged with stabbing Berry to death.

It is understood police allege she then buried him in the earth on the property and then alerted police to his death last week.

Hours after telling police of her alleged offending she was charged with murder.

Maloney, also 55, appeared briefly in court last week and was remanded in custody until her next date in the High Court at Christchurch early next month.

The kitchen hand, who had been living with Berry for some time, did not seek name suppression and told the court she wanted to be known by her maiden name rather than her married name of Joyce which she was charged under.

Berry’s family were “devastated” by his death but were not yet ready to speak publicly about him.

A funeral for him will be held in Whanganui this Friday.

A death notice published today by the funeral home running the service said he was a beloved son and dearly loved brother.

He was also a cherished uncle and special brother-in-law.

In the funeral notice the family described Berry as “gentle, kind and a lover of music and his beautiful garden”.

The funeral will be held on Friday afternoon.

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