Teen doesn't want to be remembered as killer

4:19 pm on 29 July 2015

The boy who took part in a fatal dairy raid says he doesn't want to be remembered as the Railside Dairy Killer.

The attack occurred in Henderson.

The scene of the attack in Henderson, Auckland. Photo: RNZ

The 14-year-old was found guilty of manslaughter after taking part in a fatal robbery in June 2014 that left Arun Kumar bleeding to death on the floor of his Henderson dairy.

Justice Lang has ruled suppression for the boy will be lifted at his sentencing on Friday.

But the boy's lawyer, Maria Pecotic, said she would appeal the decision. That effectively means the suppression order will continue until the appeal is heard.

In her submissions to the court, Mrs Pecotic said her client could have everything about his life made public and may end up like Bailey Junior Kurariki if he is named.

She said that would not be conducive to rehabilitation.

Kurariki was 12 years old when he acted as a lookout during a fatal assault of pizza delivery man Michael Choy in 2001. When Kurariki was convicted of manslaughter, he became the country's youngest killer.

Mrs Pecotic said the public could be forgiven for thinking Kurariki acted alone and was convicted of murder, but that was not what happened.

She reminded the court her client suffers from a brain injury after being hit by a car and a neuropsychologist found naming him would cause him extreme hardship.

She said her client would be punished over and over again every time the CCTV footage of the stabbing was broadcast.

The Crown opposed name suppression.

Arun Kumar.

Arun Kumar Photo: NZ POLICE

Veteran Crown prosecutor Kieran Raftery said the widow and children of Mr Kumar had been talked to about their feelings and they opposed the boy getting name suppression.

Tania Goatley - the lawyer for the media - said such a young offender was unusual in 2001 but, sadly, that was not the case today.

She said the presumption was in favour of open justice.

Justice Lang said Kurariki received publicity because of the baby-faced photograph that continued to be published in the media.

He said there was unlikely to be a judge in New Zealand today that would allow Kurariki to be photographed in court.

The judge said he would lift name suppression for the 14-year-old at sentencing on Friday but he would not allow cameras in court.

Mrs Pecotic said she would be appealing that decision.

A second boy - aged 13 - was cleared of a manslaughter charge by the jury. Justice Lang said his name would be permanently suppressed.

The Kumar family have said they will not be at the sentencing.

In a statement released this morning, they said justice would never be done and have described the jury's verdicts as "extremely disappointing".

The family said the offenders were turned into victims at their trial, while Mr Kumar became insignificant.

They said the last thing they wanted was for Mr Kumar's death to be in vain but unfortunately, that's what has happened.

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