10 Feb 2014

Sister considers lawsuit against police

1:52 pm on 10 February 2014

The sister of murdered Christchurch man Philip Nisbet says she is seeking legal advice about a potential lawsuit against the police.

Police intially concluded Mr Nisbet's death in 2009 was suicide despite claims to the contrary from family members, including his sister Lee-Anne Cartier.

Ms Cartier started her own investigation into her brother's death, and after her inquiry and an inquest the case was reopened in 2011.

Mr Nisbet's wife, Helen Milner, was found guilty in December last year of the murder her husband and one count of attempted murder.

Ms Cartier is considering suing police for the stress they caused her and the money she spent trying to get the investigation reopened.

She told Radio New Zealand's Nine to Noon programme on Monday that her investigation involved interviewing Milner's friends and spending thousands of dollars, and has taken a considerable toll on her.

"It just seems to never stop and now we're still gearing up to come back for the sentencing. It's still down the track before we can really get our lives back on track."

Police have apologised to Ms Cartier, saying the case wasn't handled as well as it should have been.

They are willing to discuss meeting some of the costs she incurred in attending the hearing but not compensation over their initial failure to treat the case as a murder inquiry.

Helen Milner is due to be sentenced next week.