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Government ignores victims again

Tony Ryall National Corrections Spokesman

26 January 2003

Government ignores victims again

National is calling for an inquiry into the failure of the Corrections Department and Parole Board in releasing a woman convicted of manslaughter without the victim's family being informed.

As a first step National wants the woman on parole moved from living beside the victim's family in Kawerau, National Corrections Spokesman Tony Ryall says.

The woman, Renee Rooney, was ordered to live in a house next door to one of the fire victim's sisters, and five doors down the street from the mother of the same victim.

Mr Ryall said it is outrageous that the family had pleaded with Corrections Minister Mark Gosche to have the woman moved after the family discovered she was out of prison and living so close to them.

"Mark Gosche has no excuse for not intervening. He has failed to act when he has known about this for two months. Instead he has ignored this family and let them go on suffering with no solution.

"It is the Minister's job to correct this sort of incompetence as soon as it is known about.

"It is one of the worst cases I have seen of how poorly victims are treated. I am calling for an inquiry into the abject failure of Corrections and the Parole Board regarding this case," Mr Ryall said.

Mr Ryall said it was also concerning that when the victim's family saw Renee Rooney in Kawerau and reported this to police, the police didn't appear to know that Rooney had been released because police had not been warned she was due for parole.


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