25 Oct 2008

Charity set up for victims of crime

1:25 pm on 25 October 2008

A charity has been set up for victims of crime with the help of a survivor of the RSA robbery in Auckland in which three people were killed.

The Susan Couch Crime Victims Charitable Trust will raise funds to buy the mother-of-one a house and help others in a similar plight.

Ms Couch was seriously injured in 2001 when William Dwane Bell broke into the Mt Wellington-Panmure RSA and attacked her and three others during a robbery.

In 2003, Bell was convicted of murdering three people at the RSA and the attempted murder of Ms Couch. He was jailed for a minimum of 30 years.

Ms Couch is now a social welfare beneficiary and will never be able to work again.

Lawyer Brian Henry says as Ms Couch was working part-time when the attack happened in 2001, she was ineligible for full compensation from ACC.

New Zealand First has confirmed it has donated $78,000 to the trust. The money is part of the $158,000 the party mis-spent at the 2005 election.