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'It's completely destroyed my life' - Christie Marceau's mum

Published: 3:33PM Tuesday May 29, 2012 Source: Fairfax

The mother of slain Auckland teenager Christie Marceau has made a tearful appeal on the steps of Parliament for stricter bail laws.

Akshay Chand allegedly murdered the 18 year-old, who died in her mother's arms, in her Auckland home last November and will stand trial in October.

At the time Chand was on bail on charges of kidnapping and assaulting her two months earlier.

He had been released by a judge to a property within 1km of the Marceau home, despite opposition from police.

Furious at what they perceive as a failure of the justice system, the Marceau family joined with the Sensible Sentencing Trust to form the group "Christie's Law" with the goal of ensuring what happened to Christie does not happen again.

The group want tougher bail laws and stricter sanctions on judges.

Their first step has been getting support for the changes and 58,000 signatures have been collected and were presented at Parliament today.

In tears as she addressed the crowd, Christie's mother Tracey Marceau said the death of her daughter had ruined her life.

"The pain we endure every day is horrible and almost unbearable, a true life sentence.

"For me it's just getting out of bed in the morning, I haven't been back to work since it happened and it's completely destroyed my life."

She had angry words for the judge who had granted Chand bail and demanded to know why her daughter's right to lead a full life had not been taken into account.

The Government has already moved to tighten rules around bail and The Bail Amendment Bill goes to select committee in July.

It proposes to reverse the burden of proof for offenders with a criminal record charged with certain offences, meaning they will have to prove they are not a danger to the public before being granted bail.

Currently it is up to the prosecutor to prove to the court that the offender would pose a risk.

But these changes are not enough for Marceau, who says the law change would likely not have kept the accused, Chand, in jail as he had no previous convictions.

Bail needed to be considered on a case by case basis, not as a right, she said.

National MP Jacqui Dean, who will chair the select committee, was presented with the signatures and promised a full and fair hearing for all submitters.

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