Step-grandfather: CYF failed teen murderer

By Abby Gillies

Jordan Nelson.  Photo / 3 News
Jordan Nelson. Photo / 3 News

Child Youth and Family has admitted mistakes in its handling of 13-year-old murderer Jordan Nelson following criticism from the teen's step-grandfather.

Kerry Lock told Radio New Zealand this morning that Nelson, who he considers his grandson, missed out on appropriate counselling and support from CYF when he moved in with Mr Lock and his partner of three years, Rosemaree Kurth.

Nelson was yesterday jailed for 18 years for murdering 50-year-old Ms Kurth, who was his caregiver, at her home near New Plymouth in April.

CYF said today it had reviewed its "social work practice in relation to Jordan" and had discussed its findings with Mr Lock.

"It is clear that Child, Youth and Family staff should have communicated more effectively with Mr Lock and with Jordan's school," spokeswoman Nova Salomen said in a statement.

"This problem was compounded by a delay in transferring Jordan's case.

"It would appear that a lot of faith was placed in the fact that Mr Lock had been Jordan's primary caregiver for most of his life and was doing a great job as a father figure."

Nothing in Nelson's history suggested he was at risk of committing such violence, Ms Salomen said.

The decision was made for Nelson to live with Mr Lock and Ms Kurth in October last year.

Mr Lock told Radio New Zealand his grandson's CYF file was to be transferred from Hawke's Bay to New Plymouth but that did not happen until March.

He said CYF failed to organise the counselling the teenager needed.

Nelson will serve at least six years before he is eligible for parole, but Mr Lock told RNZ he would oppose any bid for early release.

The teenager allegedly claimed he was upset at Ms Kurth for not allowing him to see his mother, a claim that wasn't true, Mr Lock said.

In court yesterday, Mr Lock read out a victim impact statement saying he felt his world had ended when he found Ms Kurth dead.

"When I returned from crossing that river on that day and saw the two bloody drag marks leading into the spare room, seeing Rose laying on the floor ... I thought my world had ended," he said.

Ms Salomen described it as a "terribly tragic case" and said staff were assessing what needed to be done for Nelson.

- APNZ

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