25 Jul 2008

Edgeware Rd killer to lodge appeal

10:16 pm on 25 July 2008

A man convicted of killing two teenage girls at a Christchurch party has lodged an appeal against his conviction and sentence.

Lipene Sila, 23, was found guilty in May this year of murdering Jane Young and Hannah Rossiter, both 16, after he drove a car through a crowd outside a party in Edgeware Road in 2007.

The jury found Sila had deliberately run down and killed the girls. He was jailed for 17 years.

Sila is appealing on the grounds that he was not given a fair chance to tell the jury he was acting in self-defence on the night he drove through the crowd of partygoers.

At the time of Sila's sentencing, the girls' mothers said they were pleased with the sentence handed down, and felt it was adequate.

But on Friday, Sally Rossiter said she was appalled to learn that Sila is to lodge an appeal, saying it makes a mockery of the justice system.

Ms Rossiter said she had been planning to meet Sila in jail as part of the restorative justice process, and hoped to hear an apology.

However, she said news of the appeal showed her that Sila was not remorseful at all, and restorative justice would be pointless.

She said she is not yet sure if she will have the strength to go through the court process again.

Jane's father, Harry Young, believes justice has not been served - and life imprisonment should mean life.

On Friday, said it was upsetting and disappointing that the families will now have to go through an appeal.

A date for the appeal hearing has yet to be determined.