Mum of murdered teen welcomes law change

Last updated 09:45 03/07/2014
Tina Bayliss
David Hallett/Fairfax NZ

HELPING VICTIMS: Tina Bayliss, mum of murdered Christchurch teen Jade Bayliss, is glad new initiatives mean police will share information about people's criminal pasts to their worried partners.

Jade Bayliss
VICTIM: Jade Bayliss, 13, died at her family's home on November 10, 2011.
Jeremy George Edward McLaughlin
KIRK HARGREAVES
REPEAT OFFENDER: Jeremy George McLaughlin murdered Jade Bayliss, 13, before torching her family's Barrington St home in 2011. He had previously killed another teenager in Australia.

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The pain is too raw for Tina Bayliss to ponder whether new family violence initiatives announced yesterday may have prevented her teenage daughter's murder.

"It's a scenario that is very difficult to think, that if I'd done something different, she's still be alive."

However, she welcomed the raft of changes revealed by Prime Minister John Key that aimed to reduce family violence, which included giving partners greater access to people's criminal histories.

"It's taken a hell of a long time. It's three years in November since Jade was murdered."

Four days before Jeremy McLaughlin strangled her daughter, Jade, 13, while she was home sick from school in Christchurch in November 2011, Bayliss had visited police to question whether he had a criminal past.

They told her nothing but gave her a trespass notice, telling her to use that to order McLaughlin off her property if he stalked her.

After the murder, she discovered he had been convicted of manslaughter in Australia for being part of a group that brutally killed Perth teenager Phillip Vidot 16 years earlier.

"I still don't know if police had anything on their screens that they could have told me."

She believed New Zealand needed a register for serious criminals to protect everyone rather than only sharing information with their worried partners.

Red Raincoat NZ Trust, a support network for homicide victims' families, also applauded Key's announcement.

"It's huge for victims in New Zealand," trust spokeswoman Debbie Marlow said, whose sister, Catherine, was murdered in London in 2007.

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- The Dominion Post

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