Grieving father regrets moving to killer nation

Harry Young, father of murdered girl Jane Young. Photo / Simon Baker
Harry Young, father of murdered girl Jane Young. Photo / Simon Baker

Harry Young moved his family from East Lancashire seven years ago to escape worrying levels of crime, drug abuse and violence in a society he felt was full of social unrest.

He chose "100 per cent Pure" Godzone to live, because of its billing as a safe paradise to raise a family and "to get away from it all".

Now he feels he made a terrible mistake.

"New Zealand has an underbelly of general crime and violence and social practices that's not really known about," he says.

The 50-year-old's view of his new homeland has been changed by his daughter's horrific murder.

Jane was one of the victims of the Edgeware Rd killings in Christchurch in May 2007.

Lipine Sila has been jailed for life, with a 17-year minimum non-parole period, for murdering 16-year-old girls Jane Young and Hannah Rossiter when he drove his car into a crowd of Christchurch partygoers.

The Young family was left broken-hearted and the tragedy resulted in the breakdown of Harry's 19-year marriage to wife Lorraine.

Harry Young says his friends and family overseas view New Zealand as a dangerous place after Jane's death and are now also aware of tourists being "raped and robbed" too.

He says the Corrections Department is failing and should be renamed. Offenders just spend time with other criminals and emerge worse than when they went in.

Instead, he says, offenders like Sila need help with things like drug and alcohol abuse and to be educated on how to value themselves.

Every time a murder hits headlines, Harry Young hurts.

"It's really upsetting. I can't work for a full day sometimes or feel really upset for a week or two - because I know what those parents are going through."

- Herald on Sunday

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