In Memory Of Christie Marceau- Change Bail Laws sign now

An 18-year-old man charged with the murder of Auckland teenager Christie Marceau made a brief appearance at North Shore District Court today.

Akshay Chand, who is charged with killing 18-year-old Marceau at her Eban Ave home in Hillcrest earlier this month, was remanded in custody to re-appear in the court on December 21.

Chand has been in custody since Marceau was found dead on November 7, and has been undergoing psychiatric assessments due to a history of mental illness.

Chand was found at Marceau's house on the morning she died, along with a bloodstained knife.

Following Marceau's death, her boyfriend Joseph Burton-Burns and her family said it was an ''emotional time'' for them and asked for ''space and privacy to grieve over the sudden loss of Christie''.

The statement asked those who knew Marceau to remember the teen as she was.

''To all Christie's friends out there, please stay strong and hold tight to all those happy memories we have of an amazing young woman who we have lost all too soon.''

Burton-Burns posted on his Facebook page: "It's slowly getting better, starting to settle in that I won't be able to see Christie again all I can do is be glad that I ever met her and look back at the amazing month we had together before she had to go."

The Sensible Sentencing Trust-led campaign wants judges to be subjected to annual performance reviews and the right of serious offenders to apply for bail removed.

The man accused of Christie's murder was on bail at the time of the alleged murder.

Christie's sister, Heather, cried as her parents spoke of how their lives had been tipped upside down since Christie's death.

Heather said Christie always wanted to be famous, but never imagined it would be under such a tragic guise.

"In some ways I'm crying for Christie but other ways I'm crying because there is so much support. It's unbelievably touching how people have come together like this."

Christie's school friend Katherine Devonshire said if she was still with them she would be the one organising the protest.

"We owe it to her to be here. It's the least we can do," she said.

As part of the protest, a number of relatives of murder victims spoke to the emotionally-charged crowd.

Charlie Borrell's teenage son Augustine Borrell was murdered in September 2007.

Haiden Davis was found guilty of the 17-year-old school boy's murder. Davis was on bail for another violent crime when he killed Augustine.

"No one is immune. This stuff could happen to you next. If we don't make changes now ... there will be further lives lost," Borrell said.

Robyn Hanson spoke of her niece's mother Vanessa Pickering, who was murdered by Malcolm Chaston while he was on bail.

She described Chaston as a "ticking time bomb" who should never have been granted bail.

"Urgent changes need to happen so no other families have to suffer such an unnecessary tragedy."

The Sensible Sentencing Trust says several murders have been committed by offenders on bail and wants "to send a very clear message to judges".

It has recommended that judges undergo an annual performance review and for police to have the power to veto a judge's decision to grant bail.

It has also called for amendments to the Bail Act, including the removal of the option of bail for defendants with a history of violence which involved a sentence of more than two years.

The trust also wants an automatic inquiry after serious breaches of bail similar to that carried out after police shootings.

Ministry of Justice statistics released at today's launch revealed about 5082 people breached bail conditions in 2007.

Of those, about a quarter offended while released on bail.

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Chanel ChapmanBy:
Justice, rights and public orderIn:
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