Editorial: The price of freedom is still high


Just what convinced a jury to ultimately hand down a not guilty verdict to Ewen Macdonald for the murder of Scott Guy at the Wellington High Court yesterday will be speculated on in the days to come.

But they clearly agreed with defence lawyer Greg King's argument that evidence presented "raised enough reasonable doubt".

Hawke's Bay Today's initial, elevated interest in the murder of Mr Guy in 2010 was the fact his wife, Kylee, was a former local, and members of her family still lived in the province.

Certainly, it would have been a major story on the national pages, but without that connection it would not have been instantly front page material for this newspaper.

It was after all, Feilding, where this terrible tragedy occurred.

But before long the seemingly senseless murder had gripped the nation in a way many others don't.

A vibrant young dairy farmer cut down in the prime of his life, a young mother widowed while pregnant with her second child. As the mystery deepened - nine months went by before Mr Guy's brother-in-law Ewen Macdonald was charged with his murder - it was never far from the headlines.

And that is where it has stayed.

The not guilty verdict not only leaves the murder of a much loved husband, father, son and brother unsolved, but a wider family left to put the pieces of their lives back together after what could only have been, at times, unbearable scrutiny.

Today Ewen Macdonald is a man not guilty of murder. But what he has been through, and the crimes he is still to face sentence for later this month - horrible in themselves - mean that the eventual price of freedom will be high for both him and all who know him.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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