The family of a woman killed by her partner and left in a Waikato lake for almost a year have spoken out about what they describe as New Zealand’s broken justice system.
Now they are fighting for law reform to restrict the rights of murderers and to prevent them from placing a financial burden on the families of their victims.
In July 2016, 42-year-old Kim Richmond disappeared. It took 11 months for her body to be found submerged in a ute at Lake Arapuni.
“I never get to see my sister again, the children never get to see their mum,” her sister Tracey says.
And with that came another shock – the man accused of killing her was her partner of 26 years and the father of her children, Cory Jefferies.
After Jefferies was arrested, Kim’s parents took temporary custody of their grandchildren – two boys and a girl now aged 11, 14 and 16.
A year later, as soon as the verdict came in, they applied to be the children’s legal guardians. The family thought it was the end of the nightmare.
But from behind bars Kim’s killer has repeatedly delayed the custody process trying to stop their application. …
Tracey desperately wants for some good to come from Kim’s death and she’s calling for urgent law reform to limit the rights of a prisoner in a custody battle like this one and for the financial burden to always be put on the killer.
That seems like a very reasonable law change. If you kill the other parent, you lose any rights of custody.