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Killer's Wife Has Community Sentence Cancelled For Stress

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Westport, Feb 5 NZPA - The wife of killer and white supremacist Hayden McKenzie was given a second chance in Westport District Court today, due to stress resulting from his conviction.

Kylie Jade Gallagher, 27, of Carters Beach, 6km west of Westport, admitted breaching community work on September 9 last year.

She had completed 38 hours of a 200-hour sentence imposed in Timaru District Court in 2007, in lieu of unpaid fines of more than $12,000.

Judge John Strettell cancelled her remaining community work, then imposed another 200-hour sentence with a warning that this time she must complete it.

Defending counsel Doug Taffs said Gallagher had a highly stressful time last year during her husband's court hearing for murdering Korean backpacker Jae Hyeon Kim.

McKenzie pleaded guilty to the 2003 killing and was sentenced in the High Court at Wellington on December 5 to life in prison, with a non-parole period of 21 years.

He was already serving a life sentence for the 1999 killing of James (Janis) Bambrough, a homosexual killed at Westport.

Last month McKenzie was reported as appealing against his sentence.

Mr Taffs said Gallagher might have had to give evidence at the trial, had McKenzie not pleaded guilty.

Gallagher, who has a nine-year-old son, had all this pressure piled onto her and was under severe stress, making it extremely hard for her to finish the community work.

She had made a good start on her community work. After carrying out part of it for Age Concern in Ashburton, she was offered a job, he said.

Since moving to the Westport area she had also completed some hours with the Salvation Army. She had a stable home now, and her life was more settled than previously, he said.


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