21 May 2019

Judge wants Cook Islands triple shooting claim sorted quickly

10:25 am on 21 May 2019

A judge in the Cook Islands says it is important a compensation claim by family of one of the victims of a 2016 triple shooting is dealt with swiftly to avoid further suffering.

Symbol of law and justice in the empty courtroom, law and justice concept, court

Photo: ikiryo/123RF

The Cook Islands News reported the family of Mary Dean has lodged a claim for more than $NZ 2.5 million, alleging negligence by various government agencies led to the fatal shootings.

In October 2016, Mary Dean was shot and killed by the escaped prisoner and her ex-partner, Chris Rimamotu.

Rimamotu then shot Ms Dean's new partner Roger Tauarea before turning the gun on himself.

The claim alleges the government is liable for the actions of the prison service and the warden from whom Rimamotu escaped.

It also alleges the government is liable for the actions of police and the poor handling of graphic details which severely traumatised a family member.

Judge Judith Potter says it is something that could be resolved through settlement so that the family is not left with the matter dragging on.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs