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Woman Talks About Pain Of Losing A Daughter

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Auckland, Oct 21 NZPA - It's nearly two years since Judy Ashton's 20-year-old daughter Debbie was killed by a disqualified driver.

But she still turns into a "blubbering mess" for little or no reason.

Her daughter's killer Jonathon Alan Barclay had been released on parole from prison after he was jailed for a raft of offences.

He was relocated to Nelson under the police witness protection programme.

However, in Nelson he was twice disqualified from driving.

The first time he was let off with a final warning.

But the second time he appeared in court he used the name he was given under the police protection programme.

No one told the court of his record and he was treated as a first offender. Mrs Ashton believes as a first offender he escaped being recalled to prison and that cost her daughter her life.

On December 6, 2006, after a night of drinking Barclay crashed his car into Debbie Ashton's car in Nelson and she died a few hours later.

Barclay was sentenced to five years and six months in jail in May last year for her manslaughter.

Mrs Ashton said she may never emotionally recover from her daughter's death or deal with Barclay's lack of remorse and compassion.

However, she said a Labour Weekend rally in Taupo for families who have lost relatives to violent crime, may help the public to understand the pain she and others went through.

She said it may also help people to understand how important it was to have organisations like the Sensible Sentencing Trust offer support.

She said she and her husband Ted had help from Victim Support but it was a government agency and limited in what it could do.

She said when she sent an email to the Sensible Sentencing Trust, chairman Garth McVicar called her within an hour or so.

"I couldn't believe there was somebody there -- a total stranger who could see the injustices we were going through."

The weekend event would allow the public to meet victims of crime and perhaps then they would begin to understand how a violent crime affected families.

She said many people said the right things but had no idea of what others were going through after they had lost a family member to violent crime.

"I had no idea. I said it many times. I would hear of a murder or hit and run and think, `that poor family'

"Then 10 minutes later I am of having a fun time with my own family -- that is what human nature is like.

"But man! When it hits you so close to home and destroys so many lives..."

She said she still turned into a "blubbering mess" with little or no reason.

She said she had to give up work and was not entitled to benefits because they had family assets.

She said had her daughter been killed by a stupid act by a young driver who had shown true remorse, "it would have helped us tremendously in coping with Debbie's death."

However, Barclay had shown the family nothing and was concerned only about his own future, she said.

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