Appeal no surprise to Longley family

By Kathryn Powley

Elliot Turner, 20, boyfriend of Emily Longley. Photo / NZ Herald
Elliot Turner, 20, boyfriend of Emily Longley. Photo / NZ Herald

News that New Zealand teenager Emily Longley's killer is to appeal against his conviction came as no surprise to her grieving family.

Emily's father, Mark Longley, of Whakatane, said he had been warned to expect the appeal from her killer Elliot Turner, 20.

That confirmation came on Friday with a call from UK police.

Last month Turner was sentenced to life in prison with a 16-year non-parole period for strangling Emily, 17, in Bournemouth, England, in May 2011.

"It's been good not to have to think about him for a month and just get on with grieving Emily," Longley told the Herald on Sunday.

Confirmation of the appeal was distressing for the Longley family, but not unexpected.

"I'm not surprised given Turner's nature," he said.

Turner showed no emotion over Emily's death. He had bragged of how he would move to Spain once he escaped conviction.

Mark Longley said there was no guarantee Turner's appeal would make it to court as there would first be a hearing to determine whether the appeal should proceed.

Longley said the prosecution case had been robust and the legal team so thorough in its work that even if an appeal did proceed he was confident that Turner would remain exactly where he was - in prison.

Meanwhile, Turner's parents Leigh, 54, and Anita, 51, will be sentenced at the end of next week for perverting the course of justice in trying to cover up for their son.

Mark Longley said he was looking forward to the day when all the expected appeals and sentencing were behind them. Then he and his family could get on with life and grieving for Emily without thinking of Turner or his family - until the killer was up for parole in 16 years' time.

- Herald on Sunday

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