Kate Hawkesby: Why are we still giving Liam Reid attention?

Author
Kate Hawkesby,
Section
Opinion,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 21 February 2018, 7:53a.m.
This is a man serving a life sentence with a 23 year minimum non parole period for raping and killing deaf woman Emma Agnew in Christchurch in 2007.
This is a man serving a life sentence with a 23 year minimum non parole period for raping and killing deaf woman Emma Agnew in Christchurch in 2007.

How is it possible that thugs like Liam Reid, convicted murderer and rapist, are still getting headlines and attention? How does he even get to “object” to anything? “Convicted murderer fails to stop documentary being made” read the headline. This is a man serving a life sentence with a 23 year minimum non parole period for raping and killing deaf woman Emma Agnew in Christchurch in 2007.

I remember the case, the coverage, I remember how disgusted and sickened I felt at the time. He was also convicted for the rape, attempted murder and robbery of a Dunedin student nine days after Emma’s murder. Jail seems a kind option for monsters like him frankly. Since his conviction though, delusionally, he has made several attempts to prove his so-called innocence.

He took his case to the Court of Appeal in 2009, it was dismissed. He took it to the Supreme Court in 2012, it was dismissed. He went to the High Court in 2016 to stop TVNZ broadcasting a show about him, his most recent move was to try to stop Prime airing a documentary about him. He lost.

Justice Kit Toogood threw it out. Reid’s argument was that the airing of the documentary might affect his rights to a fair trial. What rights? What trial? It’s over. You have no rights. In fact what’s most concerning to me is that I assume all of these appeals and injunction attempts are at the expense of legal aid. The only avenue left for him to appeal his conviction for the rape and murder of Emma Agnew, is to apply for a Royal Prerogative of Mercy, which he is allegedly in the process of doing.

He wants the conviction overturned. Are you serious? Why should the family of victims, who’ve already suffered an unimaginable loss and tragedy, have to relive it all with this convicted murderer’s mug in the paper and his ongoing fight taking up time and space? Imagine how utterly destructive this must be for them. They already had to wade through yet more headlines about him last year when he married his disgraced lawyer Davina Murray in prison. Remember her? She was representing him, as well as smuggling cigarettes, lighters and an iphone into him in prison. She lost her legal career over him. Then she married him. Classy couple.

But back to the family of the victims. Reid’s constant appeals will have followed and haunted them well beyond the original life destroying offence. They, eleven years on, still have him in their face.

How does a man who we technically should never have to hear from again, get to, in my opinion, re-victimise everyone.. by putting his head above the parapet at any opportunity to grab publicity? I wonder whether the system works, if the rights of the prisoner seem to outweigh the right to peace of the victim’s family. If he must appeal every movement of his existence, why can’t he do it in some behind the scenes capacity far far away from the rest of us?  Yes everyone’s entitled to a fair trial, well he’s had his.

He’s had more than his fair share.

 

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