Marceau inquest: Police 'strongly, firmly' opposed killer's bail

Anna Leask, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 13 June 2017, 12:36PM
Christie Marceau was stabbed to death in her family home.
Christie Marceau was stabbed to death in her family home.

A police prosecutor "strongly", "firmly" and repeatedly opposed the soon-to-be-killer getting bail after he kidnapped and assaulted North Shore teenager Christie Marceau.

Adam Pell has just given evidence on the second day of the inquest into Christie's death.

The 18-year-old was stabbed to death in her family home by Akshay Chand in November 2011.

Chand was on bail at the time and facing charges of an earlier attack on Christie.

Pell recalled that after Chand's arrest for that attack his case was called during a "busy fixture" in the North Shore District Court.

But he had time to read over the police file relating to Chand's alleged offending and put together a "firm" opposition to the attacker getting bail.

He "strongly opposed" bail on behalf of the police and specifically drew attention to admissions made by Chand to police about the kidnapping and attack on Christie.

"I also used my own private cell phone to access Google maps, as the police bail document did not stipulate the distance between the two addresses of the victim and Mr Chand," Pell said.

"I made notes on my copy of the police opposition document which outlined my key concerns and talking points."

Those notes read:

• victim's views

• depression exists (for Chand)

• cause of offending still exists

• full admissions of offending

• statements of "I'll stab you"

The police opposition document, presented to the inquest, said the biggest risk in allowing Chand bail was that he might interfere with witnesses - namely Christie and her mother.

"He had admitted during his interview the reason for the attack was for revenge against the victim for not helping him ... This desire for revenge still exists," the document stated.

"The victim is terrified of the defendant. The attack has had a profound effect on her and made her not leave her mother's side since. She does not wish him to get bail, or to see him, and is quite concerned he may try to attack her again and go around to her house."

Pell said the possibility of Chand being granted bail "in any form" was "greatly" concerning.

"In light of the matters outlined in the police opposition to bail form and also the proximity of the addresses," he told the inquest

He then set about letting the police in charge of Chand's prosecution know what was happening in court - including the accused's lawyer Mary-Anne Lowe indicating she would seek bail again - so they could do everything in their power to continue their opposition.

An email sent from Pell to the officer in charge of Chand's case about the issue was also presented to the court.

It was sent after he opposed the initial bail application but before a new application was heard.

"I extensively argued this... in front of Judge Morris," it read.

"I ran the whole 'he's only 800m from her' argument after I checked the distance on my iPhone in court to bolster the opposition.

"I'm just curious as to how on earth someone with admissions with these kinds of charges, could possibly be bailed to that address?"

The officer responded:

"One other thing that has an impact on his bail... is that the victim only lives two minutes' walk from his address," Detective Aaron Iremonger wrote.

"The offender only need to walk past 12 residential properties before he is at her house.

"The victim is very fearful of Chand receiving bail."

Pell said while the issue of electronic bail had been raised by Judge Barbara Morris after Chand's second appearance before her, it was not his job to advance that.

"I could not take any steps to advance an EM bail assessment as it is a formal defence application - which was never made," he said.

"Prosecutors did not, and do not now, initiate EM bail applications on behalf of a defendant."

He said a prosecutor could not "take on this issue" unless the defence had advanced an application.

"I can confirm police would have still opposed bail for Mr Chand - even in the form of EM bail had it been sought - due to the serious risk that we believed Chand posed to the victim."

The inquest continues.

-NZ Herald

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