Appeal for murder of teen rejected

BLAIR ENSOR
Last updated 12:33 03/06/2014
Hayden Miles
GONE: Hayden Miles was killed by Gavin Gosnell on August 22, 2011.
Gavin Gosnell
DEAN KOZANIC/Fairfax NZ
APPEAL DENIED: Gavin Gosnell, 28, was jailed for 18 years for murdering Hayden Miles.

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The man who killed Hayden Miles and then dismembered the Christchurch teenager's body has had an appeal against his murder conviction rejected.

The decision, released this morning, brought tears of relief from Hayden's mother Jacqui Miles. She wants Gavin Gosnell, 29, to accept his punishment and leave her family to grieve.

''What he did to my child is so evil,'' Miles said. 

''We have a punishment every day living without Hayden. I don't think we could have coped with another trial.''

Hayden, 15, was beaten to death at a Christchurch flat before his body was dismembered and buried in a graveyard in 2011.

Gosnell, 29, was last year convicted of the teenager's murder and sentenced to life imprisonment with a non- parole period of 18 years.

At trial, he admitted the dismemberment but his defence to the murder accusation was that the boy's death was manslaughter.

In April, three judges heard an appeal against the killer's conviction at the Court of Appeal in Wellington. 

Gosnell told the court that he had wanted to give evidence during the trial, but his former lawyer Craig Ruane had bullied and pressured him not to.

His appeal lawyer, Tony Rickard-Simms, advanced that Ruane indicated to the jury that even he thought Gosnell had reckless intention.

Rickard-Simms also contended that the judge was wrong to admit evidence of the dismemberment of Hayden's body.

The court's just released decision dismissed the appeal and said ''no error was made in this case''.

''Mr Ruane had formed the view that Mr Gosnell would do himself no favours if he went into the witness box, and Mr Gosnell's evidence before us confirmed the wisdom of that opinion.

''Mr Ruane handled a difficult trial with commendable professionalism.'' 

The decision also said the Crown did not make more of the dismemberment evidence than was fair and the jury was told by the trial judge that Gosnell's intention had to be assessed at the time of the killing.

''We accept that the evidence was shocking. It was nonetheless probative, and not illegitimately prejudicial.''

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- The Press

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