Unacceptable Failure By Corrections
Sensible Sentencing Trust (SST) are appalled and dismayed at the lack of due diligence being carried out in the handling of released parolees and their registered victims after the latest operational error lead to a man bumping into his mother’s murderer.
In 2002 Edward John Tapsell poured petrol over Andrew Tepania’s 30 year old mother and set her alight. Tapsell was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Since Tapsell’s release from prison Tepania has come face-to-face with his mother’s killer twice, the latest being just last month.
National Spokesperson for SST Jess McVicar said there is absolutely no excuse for a victim to ever be put in that position, and says it is simply a careless thoughtlessly cruel decision by Corrections.
Jess says “They should have ensured they contacted Mr Tepania before giving Tapsell the permission, and if they could not get hold of him then the request for leave is denied, it needs to be that simple. Every effort must be made to contact the victim/s prior to allowing an offender to move to or visit another region.”
Since his mothers murder Tepania has struggled with his mental health and substance abuse, he has struggled with the horror of what happened. He had managed to get his life back on track but then all the memories came flooding back when he saw Tapsell.
Jess says “This sort of administration stuff up will have a huge detrimental effect on the victim - more than most will ever know, but because he is the victim, he will not get the emotional support because our system is not set up to support victims upon an offender’s release.”
“Come on Corrections, think about the impact of this type of needless thoughtless error, sort your systems out to ensure this terrible revictimisation of the victim does not occur again.”ENDS