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A shocking blow for homicide Victim’s family

Today the Court of Appeal released their decision to allow Helen Milner (The Black Widow) to have the last remaining body samples of the husband she murdered, in an attempt to prove her innocence by trying to see if he had an underlying heart condition. This is despite years of medical records that were presented to the court at trial showing there was no concern that Phil Nisbet had any serious health issues.

Jayne Walker and Leigh Woodman from the Sensible Sentencing Group Trust (SSGT) have been supporting Nisbet’s sister Lee-Anne Cartier and her family through the many years that this debacle has been playing out.

Jayne said, “This is a shocking blow, we have spoken to Lee-Anne today; she is extremely distraught and rightly so, it is an outrageous decision.”

Through tears of anguish Lee-Anne said, “The bitch got to control Phil’s funeral and now gets to control the very last part of him!”

Leigh commented “This decision opens the floodgates for every offender convicted of murder or manslaughter to be able to appeal their conviction straight after a guilty verdict has been reached. The killer will now have more rights over the victim’s body parts than the victim’s family!!” Leigh went on to add “killers such as Tony Robertson could now conceivably look for an underlying undiagnosed medical condition and why not? They have nothing to lose because of this hideous decision!”

Jayne Walker agreed and added “In the interests of balancing the scales of justice, we believe the Crown should also hire a likeminded scientist to be able to discredit any findings that the Defence pathologist might come up with.”

We recommend that families always request the return of all body parts and samples taken from their loved ones during a post mortem. However, they now need to be aware that, if there is any prospect that a convict might want access to those human remains to support an application to the Governor General (or, presumably, to the new Criminal Cases Review Commission) under the prerogative of mercy, there is little chance of those human remains being returned to the family.

Jess McVicar National Spokesperson for the Sensible Sentencing Trust (SST) said “The Government need to act fast to enact a new law that prevents convicted killers from any right to claiming victim’s body samples and allowing the sacred body parts of deceased to be released to the victim’s family for burial or cremation. If body samples are taken, stored and not released to whanau how are Māori able to follow their traditional formal rituals during a tangihanga or tangi. These practices are an important part of Māoritanga.”

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