Teen's friend misled family about death

NICOLE MATHEWSON
Last updated 05:00 29/05/2012
Nicolette Vaux-Phillips
FILE IMAGE
BETRAYED: Nicolette Vaux-Phillips in court last week.
Hayden Miles
TEENAGER: Hayden Miles was 15 when he was killed in August 2011.

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Nicollette Vaux-Phillips knew Christchurch teenager Hayden Miles was dead but told his mother she was not sure if anything was wrong.

Vaux-Phillips, 18, was sentenced in Christchurch District Court on Thursday to 12 months' home detention after pleading guilty to being an accessory to culpable homicide following Hayden's death on August 22.

The family of 15-year-old Hayden spent 111 days agonising over his disappearance before Vaux-Phillips told police he had been killed.

Before the sentencing, Hayden's family showed The Press a transcript of Facebook messages shared between Vaux-Phillips and Hayden's mother, Jacqui Miles, revealing Vaux-Phillips' deception. On October 18 Miles asked Vaux-Phillips if she had heard from Hayden, writing: "i just want to no he is alive? it is going thro all our minds if something has happened to him when he was last in linwood that nite. i just wish someone cod confirm he alive?"

Miles sent another message to Vaux-Phillips on November 30, appealing for information on her son: "do u no wot has happen to hayden? please tell me if u do."

Vaux-Phillips replied the same day, saying: `no im sori i havent heard anything frm him been messageing hm ns stuff tho if i new nethng i wuld deffinatly tell u."

The Facebook messages were included in a submission given to the judge on the family's concerns over name suppression for Vaux-Phillips, which was lifted at Thursday's sentencing. In the submission, Hayden's family described how Vaux-Phillips misled them about Hayden's whereabouts for 111 days.

"As Hayden's friend, Nicollette was also in a position of trust within our family. Her direct contact with Hayden's mother via Facebook ... demonstrated her need for self-preservation and the lack of regard she had for our family as victims of this crime."

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