Home' Greymouth Star : November 26th 2013 Contents Greymouth Star
Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - 7
e Court of Appeal has dismissed an
appeal by an Auckland man found guilty of
murdering a toddler.
Joel Lo ey is serving a sentence of life
imprisonment with a 19-year non-parole
period for the murder of two-year-old Joseph
Ruhe Lawrence, known as J J, who died in
November 2011 in an Orakei house where
he lived with his stepfather Lo ey and his
mother Josephine Lawrence.
During Lo ey's trial in the High Court
at Auckland late last year, the court was
told J J died from horri c injuries as a result
of Lo ey kicking or punching him with
Before sentencing in February, Justice
Patrick Keane said J J was vulnerable and
helpless over the ve months he was in
Lo ey's care.
"Many of the injuries he su ered must have
been in icted by you. e assault by you on
the day he died was simply the last and most
Two of J J's aunts described Lo ey as a
"monster" and told the court that not a day
went by when they did not think of the little
Lo ey appealed against his conviction
primarily on the actions of his counsel,
saying that he was badly informed and
advised before he elected not to give
Lo ey said that decision was wrong
because his defence rested on evidence about
a confession from Ms Lawrence which only
he could give.
He also argued that his lawyer failed
adequately to challenge Ms Lawrence in
e Crown closed its case on the afternoon
of Friday November 9, 2012, and Lo ey
made his election when the trial resumed on
Monday, November 12.
On counsel's advice, he elected not to give
In his appeal, he said he had always planned
to give evidence and was taken by surprise
when his lawyer Roger Chambers changed
tack during a brief discussion in the cells on
e evidence was not accepted by Court
of Appeal Justices Forrest Miller, Geo rey
Venning and Pamela Andrews.
"We nd that, as noted earlier, Mr Lo ey
anticipated that he might give evidence and
counsel prepared accordingly.
"We nd, preferring Mr Chambers'
evidence, that no rm decision had been
made about giving evidence; rather, the
decision would await the close of the Crown
"It follows that we reject Mr Lo ey's claim
that the suggestion that he might not give
evidence was made for the rst time after the
Crown closed its case." --- APNZ
Child killer's appeal fails
Tears flow over war babies' story
e son of a United States
serviceman stationed in the
Cook Islands shed a few tears
at the premiere of a lm telling
the story of how he tracked
down his long-lost American
e premiere of the lm
Children of War --- based
on the University of Otago
department of history research
into the histories of Paci c
children of US servicemen
stationed in the region during
World War Two --- was held at
Otago University last week.
Speaking after the premiere,
Arthur Beren, who nally
met his American siblings in
2011, with the help of Otago
University researchers, said it
was emotional seeing his story
"It's so well made, and I
couldn't help but shed a tear
with the way the sensitivity
came out," he said.
Mr Beren, who travelled from
Kerikeri for the premiere, said
it had been a long and di cult
journey, tracking down his
"My story has been one of
many lies, lots of deceit, truths,
and it's been a journey of
discovery with the help of (Prof
Judith) Bennett and her team.
"It's a been a journey of very
satisfactory results and the
unreserved acceptance by an
American family, who knew
years and years ago that they
had a sibling out in the South
Paci c, but could never track
Unfortunately, Mr Beren was
15 years too late when it came
to tracking down his father,
who was stationed in the Cook
Islands during World War Two.
"But what I do have now,
which I treasure, is that
photograph of a man that gave
"He even left behind a bottle
of Scotch for me, a 60-plus-
year-old bottle of Johnnie
Walker. It was gorgeous," he
Steve Tally, who produced the
lm, said it told the story of
Mr Beren and other children
of American soldiers stationed
in Paci c Islands and New
Zealand during World War
As soon as he heard about the
research project he wanted to
make it into a lm.
"In 2010, I ran into Judy
(Bennett) by chance in the
national museum of Vanuatu,
where we were both doing
"She told me about the ...
research project. I immediately
got very excited and said 'How
would you like to make a
lm?'," he said.
Prof Bennett said it felt
"fantastic" to see the product
of her research on lm and
believed it told a story everyone
could connect with.
--- Otago Daily Times
PICTURE: Otago Daily Times
At the premiere of a lm about children of United States ser vicemen stationed in the Paci c are
lm-maker Steven Talley, left, Arthur Beren, his daughter Mignon Beren and Prof Judith Bennett.
Fishing restrictions to help the
survival of the Maui's dolphin have been
extended south towards New Plymouth,
an addition which conser vationists say is
too small to help.
Set nets will be banned up to seven
nautical miles o shore between
Pariokariwa Point and the Waiwhakaiho
River, a 350 square kilometre increase
to a restricted area which currently
runs along the North Island west coast
from Maunganui Blu , near Dargaville.
Interim measures introduced last year,
requiring set-net shers to have an
observer on board as far south as Hawera
when operating out to seven nautical
Conser vation Minister Nick Smith has
used the Marine Mammal Protection
Act to extend the set-net ban, a year
after submissions on a new threat
management plan under the Fisheries
Act closed, drawing 70,000 submissions.
No decision has been made on the
A DOC-funded survey in 2012
estimated the adult Maui's population
at between 48 and 69. e Ministry for
Primary Industries has estimated the
measures will have annual economic
impacts of $81,000 for New Plymouth
shers. --- APNZ-New Zealand Herald
to aid dolphins
National children's clothing
chain J K Kids is closing down,
blaming its its demise on intense
on-line competition from
overseas websites and the global
Owner and managing director
Ben Sproat said trading
conditions for the retailer,
which operates 22 stores in
New Zealand plus an on-line
operation, had been di cult for
the past two years.
A clearance sale was under way
and all of the stores --- and the
website --- would be closed by
February, he said. "We've seen a
decline in our retail store sales
and we don't believe we're going
to see that trend change."
Mr Sproat said J K Kids, which
employed around 125 full- and
part-time sta , had decided to
"do the responsible thing"and
close down before its nancial
"Discretionary spending in
young families is clearly under
pressure," Mr Sproat said. "In
terms of competition we're
seeing quite a big impact from
mothers, particularly younger
mothers, buying on-line. ey're
able to buy from the United
Kingdom, the United States
and many outlets over there are
o ering freight free if you spend
over a certain level."
Many items purchased from
overseas websites are also GST-
free provided they are valued
at less than $400, prompting
the New Zealand Retailers'
Association to call for the
consumer tax to be applied to all
on-line purchases, which it says
would "level the playing eld"for
Spending at o shore merchants
by New Zealand consumers is
growing 10% faster than the
growth rate for on-line purchases
according to BNZ's latest
on-line retail sales index.
e index said New Zealanders
spent $2.7 billion on-line in the
year to September 30, 40% of
which went to overseas retailers.
A strong New Zealand dollar
has also made foreign websites
more attractive for local
Mr Sproat said J K Kids had
also come under pressure from
New Zealand on-line retailers
that purchased end of line
product overseas, which it then
sold to consumers at extremely
J K Kids was established by Mr
Sproat and wife Lisa in 1995
when they spotted a gap in the
market for a ordable, quality
He said it was disappointing
that the business was being
Economists have predicted
a surge in New Zealand's
economic growth next year --- an
OECD report has forecast GDP
growth of 3.6%.
But Mr Sproat said he did not
expect an uplift in the economy
to translate into stronger apparel
sales, especially as the on-line
competition would persist.
"I'm pretty sure that in terms of
apparel it's going to continue to
be a very di cult space."
NZX-listed children's clothing
retailer Pumpkin Patch was also
hit hard by global nancial crisis.
has improved its nancial
performance since it closed its
stores in the United States and
Pumpkin Patch reported a 4%
lift in sales to $300.6 million
in its last nancial year, while
its adjusted pro t rose 16% to
$10.1 million in the same period.
High-end fashion label Trelise
Cooper announced it was
shelving its children's clothing
line in 2011, saying the company
planned to focus on more
pro table areas of the business.
--- APNZ-New Zealand Herald
Children's clothing chain closing
Women admit Indian's manslaughter
e family of Wellington mother Rongmei
Fan, who was murdered in her Miramar home,
has arrived in New Zealand.
Ms Fan, 37, who was known as Mei, was
found dead in her home two days after she
dropped her young children o at school on
Police spokesman Nick Bohm said her aunt,
uncle and brother arrived in Wellington from
China on Sunday afternoon.
e family is likely to make a decision on
whether Ms Fan's children would be taken back
to China or stay here.
Ms Fan's parents did not travel to New
Zealand because of their age.
Police investigators are still focusing on a
number of objects of interest uncovered by
police divers last week.
e divers searched the coastline by the
Miramar wharf and Shelly Bay Road for items
that may have been linked to the killing, such as
clothing used as a disguise.
Police have also released an image of the
32cm knife with a wooden handle used to kill
"We appeal for anyone that nds anything
unusual on their property to contact police," Mr
Investigators have identi ed a number of
people of interest in relation to the killing.
Mr Bohm said it remained a possibility that
the person who attacked Ms Fan may have
known her. --- APNZ
Slain woman's family arrives from China
Two women accused of killing Indian national
Amandeep Singh in Gisborne late last year
have each pleaded guilty to a new charge of
While a jury could be satis ed the pair wanted
to give Mr Singh "a good hiding", there was not
enough evidence of murderous intent, a High
Court judge has ruled.
Crystal Louise Black, 25, and Krystel erese
Pokai, 24, each pleaded guilty to manslaughter
and other charges in the High Court at
Gisborne on Friday, via video link before Justice
e other charges are car conversion, theft
(of Mr Singh's credit card), using a document
(the credit card) to obtain an advantage and
attempting to pervert the course of justice.
e pleas followed a successful application by
Pokai's counsel John Mathieson to have them
discharged on the murder charge.
ey are in custody by consent for sentencing
on December 16.
Mr Singh was last seen alive about midnight
on December 29, 2012. His badly-decomposed
body was found in bushes at Kaiti Beach about
a month later.
In a written decision released yesterday, Justice
Heath said while a properly-directed jury could
conclude the accused women intended to do
serious harm to Mr Singh during an assault, the
evidence seemed evenly balanced as to whether
they knew what they were doing was likely to
cause death. --- APNZ-Gisborne Herald
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