Child killer's mum speaks out

CHARLES ANDERSON
Last updated 08:30 13/01/2014

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The mother of convicted double child killer Jeremy McLaughlin will help push for changes that would allow people to find out the criminal history of violent offenders deported to New Zealand.

Carol McLaughlin says the jury made the right decision in finding her son guilty of murdering 13-year-old Jade Bayliss, despite his aunt Aurora Smith, of Christchurch, proclaiming his innocence.

In correspondence with The Press - the first time Carol McLaughlin has publicly stated her views on her son's offending - she said her son needed to face the consequences of his actions.

"He must shoulder the blame for his actions himself and not keep passing the buck onto other people."

She and her family were "truly sorry and angry" that such a situation was allowed to develop and vowed to help Jade's mother, Tina Bayliss, push for changes that would lift the lid on the criminal history of violent offenders deported to New Zealand.

Bayliss said she was relieved McLaughlin's mother had come forward and offered her support.

"Things should be changed and pretty damn quickly," she said.

In October, McLaughlin was jailed for life with a minimum non-parole period of 23 years for strangling Jade, stealing items from her family's Barrington St home and torching it in November 2011.

He has lodged an appeal against the sentence.

McLaughlin was convicted of the manslaughter of Phillip Vidot, 14, and grievous bodily harm of Tyron Williams, crimes committed during a violent attack in Perth in 1995.

Earlier this year, The Press revealed that Tina Bayliss approached police with concerns about McLaughlin's behaviour four days before he killed her daughter.

She was unaware he had killed before and police were unable to tell her the details of his past because of constraints on what they can reveal about a person's criminal history.

Tina Bayliss was given trespass papers to serve against McLaughlin if he showed up at her home, but she never got the chance.

She is pushing for changes to the law to prevent similar cases.

Justice Minister Judith Collins has met her Australian counterparts to discuss a new trans- Tasman Memorandum of Understanding, which would improve the management of New Zealanders who are convicted in Australia and deported back to this country.

Bayliss encouraged Carol McLaughlin to contact her.

"I'm not going to shout and bawl and rip her head off - we all have kids and they do what they want to do," she said.

Bayliss said she needed as much support as possible to get the law changed.

"I'll push and push and push until it happens - I want it done this year," she said.

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"It's been two and half years now and that's just pathetic."

- The Press

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