Ten years on

Fam­ily strug­gles over Libby’s mur­der

The Northern Advocate - - Front Page - Adam Pearse

It will be 10 years on Novem­ber 1 since former Kerik­eri school­girl Lib­erty Tem­ple­man was mur­dered but the anger is as strong as ever for mother Re­becca Tem­ple­man.

Libby, 15, was found dead in a Kerik­eri stream on Novem­ber 1, 2008. Her killer, Her­manus Theodorus Kriel, was sen­tenced in the High Court at Whanga¯rei in 2010 to 11 years and six months in prison for Libby's mur­der, and six months for her in­de­cent as­sault, to be served con­cur­rently.

Kriel will be el­i­gi­ble for pa­role in 2020 and Re­becca Tem­ple­man said this was sym­bolic of a bro­ken jus­tice sys­tem.

“We are al­ready stress­ing about it and this is what our lives, as with many be­fore us, will be like un­til such time he is re­leased and put back into so­ci­ety and it's just not right,” she said.

Tem­ple­man said she agreed prison could re­ha­bil­i­tate peo­ple but she ques­tioned whether the risk should be taken.

“We have to do ev­ery­thing that we can to keep him in­side. If he is re­leased, I hon­estly could not live with my­self if he went on and he mur­dered some­body else's daugh­ter.

“We have to do what­ever we can to keep other fam­i­lies from suf­fer­ing the way that we are and that's the bot­tom line.”

She said it would cause a lot of worry for her and her fam­ily if Kriel was re­leased.

“There is a real fire in us about the con­se­quences we would face if we saw him. Be­cause I wouldn't hes­i­tate to go up to him, I don't know what I do, I don't know what I would say but I would cer­tainly con­front him.”

Tem­ple­man said she firmly be­lieved Kriel should pay for tak­ing her daugh­ter's life with his own.

“I do be­lieve in life for a life. Se­ri­ously, what my daugh­ter is not be­ing able to do, to live her dreams . . . I can't put it into words,” she said.

“There's a dif­fer­ence be­tween an ac­ci­dent and some­one who mur­ders. They make choices, they can stop, they choose not to stop.”

She said the tenth an­niver­sary of her daugh­ter's death would be like any other day but the pain would still be there.

“Time, de­spite what peo­ple say, doesn't make it any eas­ier but we just learn to man­age our lives dif­fer­ently.”

In a post yes­ter­day on the Sen­si­ble Sen­tenc­ing Trust web­site, Re­becca ex­panded on how she felt the jus­tice sys­tem has turned against her.

“Hav­ing been put through the sys­tem once when the lit­tle bas­tard was caught, held, the court heari ng and then sen­tenc­ing, Andy [Libby's fa­ther] and I now face the fact that in three years he is po­ten­tially al­lowed to ap­ply for pa­role,” she said.

“We are never free to try and re­build our dam­aged hearts and minds when there is this ab­hor­rent and ar­chaic sys­tem in place.”

Tem­ple­man ques­tioned why it was her duty to at­tend pa­role board meet­ings when it would only make her fam­ily re­live the trauma.

“I am at a loss for words that, as vic­tims also of this trauma, we are an­nu­ally re­vic­timised and will con­tinue to be for the rest of our lives whilst even­tu­ally he will get to swan about get­ting on with his.”

She crit­i­cised New Zealand's im­mi­gra­tion poli­cies as Kriel, born in South Africa, was not de­ported to his home coun­try be­cause he held New Zealand cit­i­zen­ship.

Tem­ple­man said Judge Raynor Asher was wrong to take Kriel's age into con­sid­er­a­tion when he was sen­tenced.

She felt Kriel needed to pay the full price for what he had done.

Libby Tem­ple­man

Re­becca and An­drew Tem­ple­man speak to the me­dia out­side court in 2010.

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