Teen killer fights to keep name suppre
Arun Kumar was killed in the Railside Dairy in Henderson, West Auckland
A teenager found guilty of shopkeeper Arun Kumar’s manslaughter has been compared to another young killer while fighting to keep name suppression in the Court of Appeal.
The 14-year-old and a friend had conspired to rob the Railside Dairy at Henderson in May 2014. The friend, who has name suppression, was age 12 at the time.
The robbery turned violent and Kumar was stabbed to death.
The pair were charged with murder and both received interim name suppression for the trial’s duration.
The younger of the two, now aged 13, was acquitted of murder, while the 14-year-old was found guilty of manslaughter. He was jailed for six years in July.
His lawyer, Maria Pecotic, in Wellington on Thursday likened his case to that of Bailey Junior Kurariki who was found guilty of the manslaughter of pizza delivery man Michael Choy when he was 12 in 2001.
Kurariki has since been in the public eye again after he was jailed for fourteen months on assault and domestic violence charges in 2011.
Pecotic said Kurariki’s case was the only similar one and submitted that things might have been different if it had been considered that there would be ongoing publicity.
“It has haunted him for the rest of his life,” she told the court.
She said that Justice Graham Lang had made the right decision to suppress the 14-year-old’s image and should also have suppressed his name.
She told the court that having his name out there would affect his rehabilitation, which she said was going well in care, addressing his synthetic drug addiction problem and showing promise despite the worst possible start in life.
The jury had heard that the boy had suffered a traumatic brain injury as a child after being hit by a car when he was eight.
Pecotic submitted that the suppression legislation was aimed at adults rather than children and his future needed to be taken into account along with the rights of a child under the Hague Convention and the Bill of Rights.
Pecotic said the judge was focussed too narrowly and failed to see past the time he was released from prison and had to go on with his life.
Crown Annabel Markham said the judge had considered the boy’s youth but accepted that there were issues over his rehabilitation and that the hardship of publicity was likely to affect a young person more, have more significance, and he may lack the maturity to deal with it.
The Court of Appeal has reserved its decision.
Source : Radio Tarana New Zealand.. 8/27/2015