Woman's sentence too kind - family

JIMMY ELLINGHAM
Last updated 12:00 22/09/2012
Rachel Parker
DAVID UNWIN/Fairfax NZ
RACHEL PARKER

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The family of a man killed over a drug deal gone wrong are angry at the punishment handed out to a woman involved, saying justice has not been done.

Three years ago Jamie Faulkner was shot dead at the Heretaunga St flat Rachel Marie Parker, 38, shared with her boyfriend, Jamie Mills, in Palmerston North.

In the High Court at Palmerston North yesterday, Parker was jailed for six years and four months for manslaughter.

Justice Forrest Miller ordered that she must serve at least half that, rather than becoming eligible for parole after one third of her sentence.

Mills pulled the trigger and has been sentenced to serve at least 11 years' jail after admitting a charge of murder.

Until last month, Parker denied she was involved.

During the second week of her trial for being a party to the murder, she pleaded guilty to the lesser charge.

She admitted luring Mr Faulkner to her flat, knowing that Mills had a loaded gun.

Outside court, Mr Faulkner's family told the Manawatu Standard about their dismay at Parker's sentence.

Mr Faulkner's sister, Nicky, said the outcome was not what she expected.

"She's got away with it . . . they commit a crime like that and they get time taken off for this and that and everything else.

"I feel like you get more sentence for lesser crimes.

"[Parker] did everything. She was the instigator of the whole thing."

And Mr Faulkner's mother, who did not wish to be named, said: "I don't think the justice system takes into account what the victims are going through."

Mr Faulkner has a young son and his family said they were sad he would grow up fatherless.

Justice Miller said Parker arranged a $140 drug deal with Mr Faulkner on September 1, 2009, and started sending him threats over the phone and via text message in the days afterwards.

On September 4 she texted him and asked him to come to her flat, promising to give him an extra $40.

He arrived, unarmed, and unprepared for what was to follow.

"You and Mills had a plan to lure Mr Faulkner to the flat and present him with a loaded firearm and threaten him, intending to enforce the drug deal," Justice Miller told Parker.

Mills emerged to unexpectedly fire a shot.

Parker should have known Mills, as a fellow drug addict, could behave erratically, Justice Miller said. "The wound to Mr Faulkner proved fatal but not immediately," he said.

"He was able to wrestle the gun from Mills and flee the scene.

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"You did not seek help for him."

Parker denied being at the scene and hiding the gun's magazine and bullets she had in her possession.

That night, she went out drinking.

Defence lawyer Simon Hewson apologised to Mr Faulkner's family on Parker's behalf.

He read a letter Parker had written, in which she said: "I don't know why [Mills] pulled the trigger that day.

"It haunts me and always will."

Crown prosecutor Ben Vanderkolk said Parker admitted her involvement only when her denials became "untenable".

FAMILY STATEMENT

A statement from Jamie Faulkner's sister, Nicky, said: "The last three years for our family has been a tragic nightmare. "September 4, 2009, was the day our lives changed forever. "That knock at the door to say Jamie has been shot and that he was dead and lying on someone's back doorstep only streets away were words no family should ever have to hear. "We know Mills pulled the trigger but Parker was the force behind it. She is a vindictive, manipulative liar that people should be made aware of. "The family would like to thank Detective Ashley Gurney and the other officers involved in the investigation and Victim Support."

- © Fairfax NZ News

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