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Murdered man's mum getting run-around

Marc Alexander: Murdered man's mum getting run-around

The Parole Board won't tell murdered pizza delivery driver Michael Choy's mother, Rita Croskery, when the woman who robbed her dying son will come before it, United Future MP Marc Alexander said today.

"We have nameless, faceless bureaucrats who seem completely unaware that we now live in the age of the Victims Rights Act," he said.

"Well, I've got news for them and it is going to come as a short, sharp shock," said Mr Alexander, who intends to attend the parole hearing.

"I will be taking this matter up directly with Justice Minister Phil Goff.

"People are not going to put up with this treatment any more. The 'we'll tell you what we want to.' approach is finished. It's gone and it's time the Parole Board cottoned on to that," he said.

Mrs Croskery only knows that Casie Rawiri - who the sentencing High Court judge described as "a vulture scavenging on the injured prey of others" - will be before the Parole Board in Christchurch at the end of this month.

Her attempts to find out when, with a view to attending, have been met with a wall of obstruction. "The Victims Rights Act hasn't made a great deal of difference," Mrs Croskery said.

"They don't tell you the date, you write to them to get that, and then you have to write again to get permission to attend, and they can still say no," she said.

Mr Alexander said Mrs Croskery was being put in a ludicrous position: "It is absolutely appalling that Rita Croskery has to go running around like this.

"It should be the other way around: Rita should have been approached and asked if she wishes to attend, and if flying to Christchurch is too expensive, as it would be for many people, then those costs should be met.

"There is a whole mindset that needs to change. Bureaucrats can't be allowed to get away with paying lip service to victims' rights any longer.

"Rita Croskery has every right to be at that parole hearing. It is not good enough for her to be told that she can put in a written submission. It is not good enough to tell her 'all will be decided at the end of March, but we won't tell you when'.

"Her son was murdered. Have these people forgotten that?"

Mr Alexander, a long-standing member of the Sensible Sentencing Trust to which Mrs Croskery also belongs, last month backed the Trust's call for a cross-party parliamentary criminal justice group.

Rawiri, 22, was jailed for two-and-a-half years after pleading guilty to theft. Ends.

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