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Parents seek answers over son's death

Published: 6:55PM Saturday August 26, 2006 Source: One News

The parents of 17-year-old Liam Ashley, who was beaten to death en route to prison, say they were the ones who charged him with theft.

Ashley was found badly beaten in the back of a Chubb Security van on Thursday night. Although he was revived by paramedics at the scene, he died on Friday.

Ashley's family say his parents wanted to teach him a lesson about the consequences of breaking the law. He had taken his mother's car without permission so they had him charged him with theft.

On Thursday Ashley appeared at the North Shore District Court. The judge offered him bail but his parents chose to send him to prison as a deterrent.

But on the trip to Auckland Central Remand prison, he was believed to have been strangled and assaulted by two others in the van.

Ashley's family have issued a statement listing 10 questions they want answered, such as why was a 17-year-old with no history of serious crime or violence was transported unattended with more serious offenders?

Head of Public Prisons Harry Hawthorne says that "best practice would be that young prisoners should be separated from older prisoners. That may not always be possible."

Chubb Security says it is investigating the incident but will not comment further.

Police, the Department of Corrections and Chubb Security are all running separate investigations but no arrests have yet been made.