UK law changes give hope to Marceaus

By Russell Blackstock

From left, Christie Marceau Foundation trustee Janine McArthur, Tracey Marceau, John Key and Christie Marceau.  Photo / Supplied
From left, Christie Marceau Foundation trustee Janine McArthur, Tracey Marceau, John Key and Christie Marceau. Photo / Supplied

The mother of murdered Kiwi teenager Christie Marceau has renewed hope of forcing bail law changes after striking up a friendship with the family of a young woman killed in similar circumstances in Britain.

Tracey Marceau travelled from her new home in Australia this week to meet John Key in Wellington. She and supporters of the high profile Christie's Law campaign made an emotional appeal to the Prime Minister for urgent action.

Marceau told the Herald on Sunday her hopes have been lifted after the parents of slain British nurse Jane Clough forced changes to the bail system in the UK that were implemented this month.

Through their "Justice for Jane" campaign, the Cloughs, from East Lancashire, England, demanded Crown Prosecution Service lawyersbe given the right to appeal bail being granted.

Jane Clough, 26, was repeatedly stabbed by her paramedic ex-partner Jonathan Vass in July 2010. The murder occurred while he was on bail for raping her.

Christie Marceau, 18, was stabbed to death in her Auckland home in November 2011 by Akshay Anand Chand who was on bail after kidnapping her.

"The Clough's victory in Britain has reinvigorated our commitment to having changes made in New Zealand," Tracey said yesterday. "The similarities between what happened to Christie and Jane at either end of the world are incredible and both kept detailed diaries of events."

Tracey said she and husband Brian were trying to rebuild their lives in Adelaide. Brian has a management job in a mining company.

"The plan was that Christie would join us in Australia and go to university there," she said. "The country has really embraced us and victim support there has been fantastic too.

"We took Christie's little dog Chief with us and at times I'm convinced I can see the two of them playing together in the house."

'We moved to Australia for privacy reasons but we will never give up on New Zealand or the campaign to have the bail laws changed. We need more protection for victims."

Tracey said Christmas was unbearable and she and her husband went to Bali for "spiritual time".

"Christmas was a big family occasion for us but we don't celebrate it any more," she said. "The next difficult date is when our other daughter Heather celebrates her first wedding anniversary in early March in Auckland as Christie would have been the bridesmaid."

Tracey said this April will be another difficult time. "Christie would also have been 20 in April and the hardest thing is seeing her wonderful friends getting on with their lives."

Ruth Money, spokeswoman for the Sensible Sentencing Trust said changes to bail laws were not happening quickly enough.

"We remain hopeful that, based on this UK example, that John Key acts as opposed to paying us lip service like many of his colleagues have done," Money said. 'The fact that the MPs are not listening to what the New Zealand public is demanding is insulting."

- Herald on Sunday

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