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Murder Victims Family Hopeful for Change 12 Years on

MURDER VICTIMS FAMILY HOPEFUL FOR CHANGE 12 YEARS ON

On Friday the 11th of May 2007 Colin Moyle returned from the nearby shops to his Sandringham, Auckland home, minutes later he would be dead.

Lying in wait for Colin was Matthew Ahlquist who had set in motion a premeditated plan to kill Moyle whom he believed to be demonic. Ahlquist threw boiling water on Moyle as he entered his home, bashed him with a spade, breaking the handle, doused him with petrol stolen from a neighbouring property and set him on fire.

Ahlquist, a diagnosed schizophrenic who had been receiving mental health treatment for the previous ten years was homeless, unmedicated and had recently been discharged from the Te Whetu Tawera Mental Health Clinic. He was arrested at the scene and charged with Moyle’s murder.

This was the initiation for Moyles’ family into the murky world of psychiatry, imbalances in the Justice system where murder victims are treated as pawns in a game of smoky mirrors and deceit.

After lengthy delays due to his mental state Ahlquist was acquitted of Moyle’s murder and found not guilty by reason of insanity. He was detained as a special patient at Auckland’s Mason Clinic, the regions Forensic Mental Health facility.

Twelve years on and Ahlquist lives unsupervised in the community.

Moyle’s brother Graeme, is a strong advocate for change in New Zealand’s Mental Health System, a system he believes is in crisis. Moyle is angry that no lessons have been learnt following his brothers premature and tragic death.

“I hoped Colins death would be a catalyst for change,” Moyle said, “on the contrary, the system has deteriorated to crisis point and more and more families are burying their loved ones”.

“I have spent thousands of hours advocating for change and supporting families in similar circumstances as ours”.

“To date the only change I have seen is an increase in unnecessary victims being churned out of an archaic system that cannot see the wood for the trees”, Moyle says.

However in April, National MP, Louise Upstons, Rights for Victims of Insane Offenders Bill was drawn from the Parliamentary Ballot and is set to go to Select Committee in the near future.

The Bill will change the formal finding of the court to provide victims with the acknowledgment that the offender was proven to have acted grievously, even if they lacked the intent to be guilty of the action.

“There appears to be cross party support for this Bill”, Moyle says.

“Prior to the last General Election, the current Minister of Justice, Andrew Little acknowledged the need for change in this area.

Andrew Little said if Labour wins the election, it will make sure victims are always notified when a mentally unwell offender is allowed out of care.

Little confirmed Labour would make the move, saying the victims should be told of any release or change in management that meant the perpetrator could be in public places.

"The reality is that there's a dead person with a grieving family and they're entitled to know that the person who's caused the family member's death has been [let out]," he said.

“These proposals are well overdue and I am heartened that both major political parties agree the time is right for change”, says Moyle.

“I am hopeful that by the time Colins’ thirteenth anniversary rolls around these proposals will be enshrined in Law and families in similar circumstances will not have to endure the trauma and re-victimisation the current Legislation allows

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