Family of 16 year old killed at party outraged at bail attempt

The family of Jane Young, one of two 16-year-olds run down by a car outside a party in Christchurch in May, is devastated her alleged killer may be released on bail for Christmas.

Jane and Hannah Rossiter, both Christchurch teenagers, were amongst a large group outside an out-of-control party on Edgeware Road when 22-year-old Lipine Sila allegedly ploughed into the group, killing the two girls and injuring several others.

Sila has been charged with murdering the two teens, along with six charges of attempted murder or alternative charges of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and two further charges of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Jane's father, Harry Young, told The Press the family was "appalled" and "disgusted" when advised Sila had applied for bail.

"We are very upset. We feel victimised by the justice system that perpetrates this. It's just so cruel. It's not justice at all.

"We are just managing to start sleeping through the night again and now we are not sleeping.

"He wants to go home for Christmas. Well, we will never have our daughter home for Christmas again because of what he's done.

It's disgusting, it's Christmas for us - how are we going to feel?"

They had been able to oppose the bail application but were warned their opinion held little sway in the final decision, he said.

New Zealand Law Society criminal law committee spokesman Jonathan Krebs said changes to the bail act this year had made it easier for people to get bail.

"Yes, the bar has been lowered a little bit, but still the safety of the community is paramount and if a judge is concerned an applicant might present a risk, bail can be refused."

However, a person was still innocent until proven guilty, he said.

"Just because a person has been accused of a crime, doesn't mean they are guilty of it and it's not a reason to keep them incarcerated pending trial. There has to be good reason to deny someone of their liberty."

- NZPA

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