11 Nov 2008

Supreme Court to hold full hearing on RSA killings

2:47 pm on 11 November 2008

The Supreme Court is to hold a full hearing in March to consider the issue of whether damages are available to the sole survivor of the Panmure RSA killings.

Susan Couch is seeking $500,000 for negligence by the probation officer responsible for supervising William Bell, the man convicted for the killings.

Bell is serving a prison term of 33 years without parole for the murders of William Absolum, 63, Mary Hobson, 44, and Wayne Johnson on 8 December 2001.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court ruled that the Probation Service owed a duty of care in law to Ms Couch at the time of the attack.

On Tuesday, the Crown asked for the case for damages to be struck out, saying that legally exemplary damages are never available in negligence claims.

However, the court ruled that it will hold a full hearing in March to consider the issue further and as well as a matter relating to whether ACC legislation bars such claims.