People have yelled death threats outside the house of the woman who killed a 15-year-boy in a hit-and-run crash as politicians today accepted a petition to appeal against her sentence.
Nathan Kraatskow died when a learner driver, Rouxle Le Roux, hit him at an Albany intersection on May 18.
Le Roux, 19, had drunk wine and smoked cannabis earlier in the day before the Mercedes she was driving crashed into Kraatskow when he crossed an intersection riding a small bike.
The 15-year-old died at the scene. Le Roux and her two passengers failed to stop.
On Friday, Le Roux was sentenced in the Auckland District Court to 11 months' home detention and 250 hours of community work for dangerous driving causing death.
On Saturday, Kraatskow's mother Charlene Kraatskow started a petition questioning the New Zealand justice system and calling on prosecutors to appeal Le Roux's sentence and seek a harsher penalty.
The petition had received over 143,000 signatures, and was presented to representatives of both National and Labour on the steps of Parliament today.
Le Roux's lawyer Belinda Sellars, QC, said the public backlash had been "frightening" for her client.
"On Saturday night she had people outside her house, screaming that they want to kill her. She has been too afraid too sleep. It has been really frightening for her."
Sellars said they were also really concerned a lot of what was being posted on social media was "wrong".
"People don't have the full story. From her perspective, people are getting really wound up about this, and they don't know the truth."
Sellars said while she accepted her client was speeding, Kraatskow had gone through a red light.
While Le Roux did not stop, the way it had been "painted that she ploughed through someone", was not right, Sellars said.
"It is true she didn't stop, but she slowed down. It wasn't her car, she had an older driver, the owner, beside her. He and another boy in the back of the car started shouting at her, 'Don't stop, don't pull over, you can't pull over here'.
"She drove on but was overcome as she thought she hit something. She stopped the car and the others took over. She was incredibly upset."
Le Roux had consumed "some wine and cannabis earlier in the evening", but there was no suggestion she was highly intoxicated or "out of her head", Sellars said.
"This is not one of those cases, that are all too common with dangerous driving, where a young person has been drinking all day with their mates, has been driving too fast, and people telling them to slow down. That was not the case here."
Sellars said the speculation that Le Roux was from a "privileged" background was also wrong.
"Nothing could be further from the truth. She has had a very difficult upbringing."
Sellars said home detention was a "tough sentence".
"Home detention is a tough sentence and particularly tough to a young person. At the moment she has just been at home, too terrified to do anything.
"She will absolutely learn from this. She has said this is an awful situation, and what she has already learned is she needs to make sure she does not waste her life, makes the most of what is available to her, shows she is a good person and contributes to society."
Regarding the petition for the Crown to appeal the sentence, Sellars said she was confident Crown Law would do what it needed to look at the case and applicable law, and compare it with other cases.
Opposition leader Simon Bridges was joined by National MPs Mark Mitchell and Erica Stanford, as well as Labour's Duncan Webb and Marja Lubeck, in accepting the petition on the steps of Parliament today.
Nathan's father, Orion Kraatskow, said the support the petition had received was "far beyond what we had expected".
The aim of the petition was to get the Crown to appeal Le Roux's sentence.
"After Nathan's death, we felt sorry for Le Roux, but her behaviour since she has been charged has been disrespectful and shows a lack of remorse," Orion said today, adding that she had "made a mockery of the justice system".
National's justice spokesman Mark Mitchell said the size of the petition showed the depth of feeling in New Zealand in regards to this issue.
Webb said he had been asked by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to accept the petition on behalf of Labour.
He said the petition was the right thing to do, as it brought the issue to the attention of Parliament.
Charlene Kraatskow said she felt humbled an honoured by the steps everyone has taken to support the family.
"When we started the petition, we thought if we get 10,000 signatures that would be amazing – we got that in two hours."
She said she wanted to see the sentence appealed and for the justice system as a whole to be looked at, to make sure people aren't given lighter sentences in the future.
"The precedence [of this sentence] for teenaged kids is that you can go out, you can drink you can smoke and get behind the steering wheel of a car and kill someone and then they get 11 months at home – I just don't think that's right."
The petition will be tabled in Parliament.