29 Jul 2015

No point in attending sentencing, says Kumar family

11:03 am on 29 July 2015

The family of a West Auckland dairy owner killed by a teenager said they will not attend his sentencing because they know justice will never be done.

Shivneel Kumar at the High Court in Auckland

Shivneel Kumar, son of slain Henderson dairy owner Arun Kumar, speaking to media outside the High Court in Auckland after the jury reached its verdicts. Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

Arun Kumar, who was 57 at the time, was stabbed in his Henderson shop in June 2014.

A 14-year-old boy was found guilty of manslaughter and a 13-year-old was found not guilty - a decision Mr Kumar's family described at the time as ''extremely disappointing''.

The 14-year-old will be sentenced on Friday, but Mr Kumar's family said they would not bother to attend.

"We see no point in attending the sentencing because we know that justice will never be done."

Arun Kumar.

Arun Kumar. Photo: NZ POLICE

"Despite full CCTV footage, the use of weapons and witness testimony our justice system came up with manslaughter for one and [the] other walked free."

They said they watched how the offenders became victims during the trial and Mr Kumar became insignificant.

"Now we feel like idiots going to the court everyday, sitting in the court room and going through the heartache of watching the CCTV footage over and over again."

The family questioned why the boys' criminal pasts were hidden from the jury.

"The concept of a 'fair trial' is indeed fair for the criminal but what about the victims?," they asked.

The family said the "most shameful thing" was seeing the defence counsel and clinical psychologists give evidence in court.

"Their opinions counted more than facts."

"The last thing we wanted was for Dad's death to be in vain. Unfortunately this has happened. There has been no remorse from the perpetrators."

At the High Court in Auckland today, the 14-year-old's lawyers were fighting to keep his name suppressed.

Justice Lang has indicated he will lift name suppression at Friday's sentencing.

The boy's lawyer, Maria Pecotic, told the court she would appeal against that decision, meaning the suppression order would continue until the appeal is heard.

Ms Pecotic said her client suffered from a brain injury and a neuropsychologist found he would suffer extreme hardship if he was judged harshly by the community.

She said he did not want to be remembered as the Railside Dairy killer.

Anita Kumar outisde the High Court in Auckland

Anita Kumar, wife of slain Henderson dairy owner Arun Kumar, outside the High Court in Auckland after the jury reached its verdicts. Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

Extracts from the Kumar family statement:

"We do not want to support injustice and therefore there is no point in attending."

"We had a good chance to set a precedent for other youth walking our streets with weapons and committing similar crimes. Unfortunately this did not happen."

"Living in a society as good citizens and contributing positively to the economy has given us nothing but grief. We wanted justice to take place though our court system and initially we were confident and had faith in our system but now this has been shattered. "

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