‘Stay strong and find help... Find it now’

Sunday News - - FRONT PAGE - TOMMY LIV­INGSTON

A young man ac­quit­ted of mur­der­ing his abu­sive fa­ther fol­low­ing a high pro­file trial is now urg­ing chil­dren stuck in vi­o­lent homes to seek help.

His pleas have been backed by the po­lice of­fi­cer in charge of the case who, in a rare move, has spo­ken out say­ing the not guilty ver­dict was just.

The man, who has name sup­pres­sion, stabbed his fa­ther to death at an Auck­land ad­dress last year dur­ing an ar­gu­ment.

It took a High Court jury less than four hours to ac­quit him of both mur­der and man­slaugh­ter, last week find­ing he had acted in self de­fence.

Speak­ing ex­clu­sively to Sun­day News, the young man is urg­ing other chil­dren of abu­sive par­ents to seek help.

‘‘For those sons and daugh­ters who were like me, stay strong. Know you are not dif­fer­ent, you are not alone, and go and find help. Find it now. I am a worst case sce­nario of what can hap­pen,’’ he says.

The young man hopes his case will re­mind abu­sive par­ents and part­ners they too need to seek help.

‘‘Go to your fam­i­lies and speak about your is­sues and get some clar­ity and clo­sure. You are un­nec­es­sar­ily putting your pain on your kids and your part­ner. In the end it was a good out­come for me. But I am still a son with­out a dad. I have a daugh­ter who will never know her grand­fa­ther, a mum who will never get her part­ner back. It should have never ended this way.’’

Through­out the trial, the court heard how the young man would often take the beat­ings his fa­ther was try­ing to in­flict on his mother.

Of­fi­cer in charge of the case De­tec­tive Sergeant Tom Gol­lan says the de­ci­sion to charge the young man was com­plex.

Be­cause there was a self de­fence el­e­ment to the killing, po­lice be­lieved it should go to jury trial.

‘‘You have got to trust the jury will make the right de­ci­sion. The jury made the cor­rect de­ci­sion on all the available ev­i­dence in front of them. It would have been a dif­fi­cult trial for them to stom­ach.’’

Gol­lan fully sup­ports the young man’s calls for oth­ers to seek help.

‘‘We have to re­mem­ber that do­mes­tic abuse hap­pens right across the board. These kinds of things can hap­pen to any­one from any walk of life.’’ For the full in­ter­view go to stuff.co.nz

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