21 Apr 2011

Restorative justice offends some crime victims

6:01 am on 21 April 2011

People caught up in some of the country's most high-profile killings are criticising an attempt to widen the use of restorative justice.

It is one of a number of changes to the services provided for victims of crime announced by Justice Minister Simon Power on Wednesday.

The mother of murdered Kerikeri schoolgirl Liberty Templeman, Rebecca Templeman, says an offer to meet the killer in 2008 was insulting and offensive.

Kevin McNeil, the son of slain Tokoroa school teacher Lois Dear, also says he doesn't believe in restorative justice.

The sole survivor of the 2001 Panmure RSA massacre, Susan Couch, says any meeting initiated by an offender would be inappropriate.

Under other changes, victims of serious crime are to be given the automatic right to read their victim impact statement in court and greater scope to express their feelings in their own words.

Victims would also be told whenever prisoners who have served short-term sentences are convicted for breaching release conditions, or when offenders on home detention breach their conditions.