26 May 2015

Changes to notifying victims of crime

5:05 pm on 26 May 2015

A supermarket customer who came across the man who had tried to kill him ten years earlier supports the Government enforcing changes to how victims are told of their attacker's release.

Martin Lyall stabbed Bob Norcross in Auckland during an attack which also killed bus driver Kevan Newman in 2005.

Lyall was remanded to a forensic psychiatric unit after he was deemed unfit to enter a plea.

But earlier this month, Mr Norcross said he ran into Lyall in his local supermarket.

He said he still had not been officially informed by the Ministry of Health that Lyall was in the community.

"There is a total arrogance from mental health and has been with any dealings that I've had with regarding this particular incident, I have found nothing but arrogance.

"You let Kevin Newman's family down, you let me down, and you don't take any care or responsibility for that."

Mr Norcross said he supported the Associate Health Minister Sam Lotu-Iinga stepping in and making changes to victim notification processes.

Mr Lotu-Iinga said he asked the Ministry of Health to make immediate changes.

"As a matter of urgency we are going through and reconciling all the records of registered victims so this won't happen again.

"We are looking at formally changing the process around which victim notification is made, and working alongside other agencies to review and tighten up some of those processes."

Mr Lotu-Iinga said legislative change may also be needed.