The mother of a murdered three-year-old girl said she could not hold back the tears after hearing about a Māori woman saying Europeans could not know what it was like to be victims of crime at the Government’s criminal justice summit.
In 1997 Luke Frederick Sibley – then 18 – suffocated and strangled Brittany Crothall, 3, while she slept at her home in New Brighton, Christchurch.
He then entered the bedroom of the toddler’s mother, Jayne Crothall, and attacked her with a hammer and a knife.
Crothall said Brittany, who was part Māori, would have turned 25 on Wednesday making the underlying prejudice all the more painful to hear.
She said another victim – whose sister was murdered – was told she was “white and privileged” – both messages leaving Crothall in tears and her blood boiling on day one of the summit in Porirua on Tuesday.
“This is a horrendous summit for victims – we’ve been re-victimised. There’s been a lot of racist comments,” she told the 500-odd gathered experts, academics and advocates, victims, ex-prisoners and frontline justice workers.
The talkfest appears to have been even more dismal than expected.