Siege killer's partner gets ACC payout

By Jared Savage

Delwyn Keefe. Photo / Janna Dixon
Delwyn Keefe. Photo / Janna Dixon

The partner of the Napier gunman who killed a policeman during a three-day siege received nearly $10,000 in ACC compensation after he committed suicide.

Jan Molenaar, 51, killed Senior Constable Len Snee and kept police officers at bay with gunfire after a routine search warrant for cannabis at his Chaucer Rd home went wrong in May.

A self-styled "Rambo", Molenaar had collected an illegal cache of 18 military-style firearms and fatally shot Mr Snee, as well as critically injuring officers Grant Diver and Bruce Miller and civilian Lenny Holmwood.

The siege ended after Molenaar shot himself.

His former partner Delwyn Keefe has since admitted selling cannabis from the house over a five-year period and is due to be sentenced next month.

The Weekend Herald can reveal Ms Keefe received ACC compensation for his death.

A lump sum of more than $5000 helped pay for his funeral and Ms Keefe also received a "survivor grant" of around $4000.

She did not receive weekly compensation for lost earnings.

The ACC entitlement for suicide was introduced by the Labour Government in 2008, although the National Government plans to axe the compensation under proposed legislation before Parliament.

Ms Keefe told the Weekend Herald she never knew she was entitled to ACC money until the funeral director told her.

She thought cutting the suicide compensation was a "silly idea" as it helped pay for Molenaar's funeral, which cost more than $7000.

Ms Keefe did not believe the actions of her former partner should have excluded her from the compensation.

"It's no different to anyone [else] who commits suicide. I'm entitled to it. I shouldn't be persecuted because of what Jan did."

She is also fighting to keep the home she shared with Molenaar, which the Solicitor-General is attempting to seize.

ACC Minister Nick Smith said compensation paid out after people like Graeme Burton and Jan Molenaar committed serious crimes was wrong.

The Weekend Herald last week revealed Graeme Burton received an artificial leg worth $10,000 from ACC to replace the right leg lost on a lethal shooting rampage two years ago.

Burton is serving the third-longest sentence in New Zealand history - a minimum non-parole period of 26 years. In January 2007 he killed Wellington quad-biker Karl Kuchenbecker and injured four others.

Police captured Burton - who had previously been released on parole after serving a life term for a 1992 murder - after shooting him in the leg, which had to be amputated.

The proposed law changes before Parliament would rule out compensation for anyone injured while committing a crime with a maximum penalty of two years or more in jail.

Criminals would still receive emergency treatment to maintain life and rehabilitation to "restore function".

Dr Smith said that under the bill a decision on whether someone like Burton would receive a taxpayer-funded prosthetic leg would still be made by doctors.

"My hope would be that cases like Burton would be consigned to history. There's not a bone in my body with compassion for him."

- NZ Herald

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