18 Oct 2012

Christie Marceau's family says ruling is unjust

8:15 pm on 18 October 2012

The family of slain teenager Christie Marceau says her killer will always be guilty of her murder, despite the court ruling that he was insane when he stabbed her while he was out on bail.

Akshay Anand Chand, 19, was sentenced in the High Court at Auckland on Thursday to three years' detention for kidnapping and threatening to rape Ms Marceau two months before he killed her.

On Wednesday, Chand was found not guilty of murder by reason of insanity, so he will serve his sentence in a special mental health unit where he has been detained indefinitely.

Outside court, Ms Marceau's mother Tracey said her daughter was unjustly taken away and the family does not accept the court's ruling.

"We feel that Christie should still have been here, she should have been alive," Tracey Marceau said, "and all that's come out in the court over the last couple of days is a strong indication that she was truly taken away from us unjustly.

"She had that right to life. Everything's been about the offender's rights but she had that right."

'He'll always be Christie's murderer'

Father Brian Marceau said the family cannot accept that Chand is not guilty of murder.

"No sentence will ever be sufficient for the loss of Christie. It will never bring her back or make us feel that justice has actually been done.

"We do not agree with the term 'not guilty by reason of insanity'. For us, he'll always be Christie's murderer, and in our eyes he will always be guilty."

Crown prosecutor Simon Moore says however that there can be no question of an appeal, as both defence lawyers agreed with the Crown that Chand is suffering from a serious illness.

Judge sees no sign of remorse

Two months before Christie Marceau's death, Chand lured the 18-year-old to his house, where he threatened her with a knife and made her take off her clothes. He pleaded guilty to those charges last month.

Psychiatrists told the court that while he was mentally unwell, he was not legally insane at that time.

In sentencing, Justice Winkelmann said she took Chand's guilty plea into account but was not satisfied he had shown any signs of remorse.

Justice Winkelmann said Ms Marceau was a vulnerable victim, and Chand wanted to seek vengeance on her and to rape her. He intended to terrify her and she was terrified.

The judge read excerpts from Christie's journal in which she said she was frightened of Chand and the kidnapping had fundamentally changed her life.

Justice Winkelmann also quoted from her parents' victim impact statements, in which they spoke of being crippled with fear and of feeling guilt for not having protected their daughter.