The name of the boy that killed British school girl Libby Templeman has now been released. He is Hermanus Theodorus Kriel, known as Theo Kriel.
For some unknown reason his image has been suppressed until sentencing next month.
Just how this is going to work in practice is unclear because he has posted videos of himself on the net and they’ve been there since the middle of 2008. Is he technically in breach of his own suppression order and doesn’t this highlight just how flawed New Zealand’s suppression laws are? One of the videos was even broadcast on NZ news this evening with Theo’s face blanked out, but the website on which the film was hosted could be seen clearly.
According to a report on Stuff:
“A separate suppression order prohibiting publication of his image will remain in place until his sentencing on March 26. The court heard Kriel had moved with his family from South Africa to New Zealand when he was eight-years-old. He attended Kerikeri High School with Liberty, but told the court the pair had not been close friends.
They had both been in Year 10 at school and would occasionally text one another. “
Immediately after the verdict yesterday Liberty’s father said:
“Since the first of November, 2008, when the life of our beautiful daughter Liberty was stolen, our lives have been in turmoil.
“It’s every parent’s worst nightmare that their child should die at the hands of someone else. We still struggle to see her without – I can’t say his name until 12 o’clock tomorrow – just being there in the background.”
The family did not understand why they had to go through the traumatic trial process after the boy had confessed so early in the case, Mr Templeman said.
He rejected the defence’s claim the killing was manslaughter.
“For us there could not have been another verdict. If his only motive was to hide Liberty’s body believing her to be already dead, then why did he drag her semi-naked through the shrub and into the stream and then hide her under the ginger [tree] when the long grass surrounding her would have already have hid her?
“Libby gave so much to so many and wanted nothing in return. Her big heart, her warm smile, vivacious personality will be missed by all who knew her.”
The officer in charge of the case, Inspector Martin Ruth, said it had been a gruelling police investigation. “It was a tough job right from the start. At the end of the day there are no real winners, this young boy’s going to get what’s coming to him.”
I’m just pleased for the Templemans that they got some justice in the end.”
We’ll reserve judgment as to whether the Templemans, and Libby, have got justice until the sentencing hearing next month.
Update 26 March 2010
Kriel was given a ‘life’ sentence with 11.5 years minimum before parole, a pitifully short period for such a callous murder. It was called a “token” sentence by her parents, we agree. Theo Kriel will be back on the streets and enjoying life again at the age of 27 whilst Liberty’s family and friends are condemned to a lifetime of unimaginable grief for the loss of a very talented and bright young woman who died in horrific circumstances.
Kriel will likely spend the first few years of his sentence in a youth facility before being transferred to an adult prison. His chances of passing his first parole hearing are slim.
A youth, who was 14 when he beat Scottish woman Karen Aim to death with a baseball bat in Taupo in 2008, was given a comparable punishment. He got ‘life’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 12.5 years. Karen’s father has vowed to fight any parole bid the youth may make in future, even though he lives in Scotland
It’s a reminder that, despite’ justice’ being handed out, families of murder victims seldom know a moment of true peace and are forced to re-live the anguish of the crime every time a parole hearing is scheduled.
We have been following events since Liberty was murdered, for all our posts click HERE
Kriel a product of a bullying culture?
The trial verdict has been the subject of a thread on the NZ Yahoo message boards. One comment by firstname.lastname@example.org caught our attention as it may go in some small way to explaining why Kriel reacted in the way he did:
“I feel sorry for the boy since he was the focus of relentless bullying at Kerikeri High School. I don’t actually know him but lots of students there who said his life was made hell. No wonder he as terrified to be mocked yet again! Why did this not come out in the trial? Kerikeri High School management and teachers should take a look at themselves!!!”
See also other posts:
Today’s posts – click here