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Killers sentence will not bring peace for family of Victim

13th November 2019

“At the end of the day when you commit a brutal act such as murder a ‘difficult upbringing’ will never explain why someone chose to take another’s life.”

On September 30th 2018, in a quiet country town where everyone knew each other and everybody was friendly, David Lothian and James Webby lured Alex Latimer to his death. The house where he was murdered is just 5 minutes up the road from where Sensible Sentencing Trust National Spokesperson Jess McVicar grew up.

Jess said “The community where I grew up was and is a peaceful, welcoming community and they are all still in shock over what took place that night. This type of crime does not happen there. Everyone is still shocked and beyond disbelief. I knew the family that grew up there very well.”

The two men charged appeared in the Napier High Court on Monday 11th November before Justice Robert Dobson and a packed public gallery. David Lothian was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 20 years, while James Webby was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 17 years and 9 months.

Lothian was also charged with aggravated robbery, arson and reckless driving while Webby was charged with aggravated robbery, arson and perverting the course of justice.

The SST said considering the pathetic sentences handed down so often these days, this was a good outcome, but many of the local community who knew Alex are frustrated at the sentence.

Jess said “Life with a minimum non-parole period for murder is not seen as justice in the eyes of the loved ones and the greater community, as it is not a life sentence at all. Lothian and Webby should have been sentenced to 20 years for every hour of torture they inflicted on Alex Latimer. The Justice system misuses the meaning of life.”

Defence Lawyer Roger Philip who appeared on behalf of Lothian, said Lothian had acknowledged he was wrong. He said Lothian had a difficult upbringing, which had perhaps moulded him to act in this way.

Jess said “There is no excuse for the heinous act these two carried out and it has nothing to do with his upbringing. They were completely selfish, drug driven and evil. The excuse of their upbringing is used far too often and needs to be removed from the court system – show some respect for the families involved. Often discounts to a sentence are given due to this excuse. It is like a reward for the crimes they have committed. We believe there has to be an end point to Defence Lawyers being able to blame serious violent crimes committed on the upbringing of the offender”.

“At the end of the day when you commit a brutal act such as murder a ‘difficult upbringing’ will never explain why someone chose to take another’s life.” ENDS



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