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Victim Impact Report Obstacles Concerning

Media Statement
For immediate release
Wednesday, 27 October, 2004

Alexander: Victim impact report obstacles concerning

United Future's Marc Alexander, who helped clear the way for a victim impact report in the case, today welcomed the 17-year sentences imposed on two teenagers for the murder of a homeless man in Christchurch earlier this year.

Kevin Green and Pakanui Morice, both 18, were sentenced in the High Court at Christchurch this morning for beating Shannon McComb to death in February.

"This crime was brutal and mind-numbingly pointless. It was a monstrous act of violence against a very soft target," Mr Alexander said after earlier advocating for Mr McComb's family when they met obstacles to delivering their victim impact report.

They were told by court officials that the style in which they wished to present their report was not acceptable, he said.

"The problem was resolved, but that it was an issue at all is indicative of the distance we still have to travel to get true acceptance of victims' rights."

Mr Alexander, United Future's law and order spokesman, said the case was deeply disturbing.

"Shannon McComb was a gentle man. He was fragile and caring. He had issues in his life, but he remained a loving son and brother in contact with his family. One can't help but have the picture that he was utterly dehumanised to those two killers because he was homeless.

"While 17 years is not enough for any murder, at least it is a substantial start," Mr Alexander, who has long campaigned for tougher sentences, said.

In a sad postscript to the case, Mr Alexander has approached TVNZ on behalf of Mr McComb's family to have him edited out of an upcoming documentary in which he was to feature.

"It is a very difficult situation for his family," he said.


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