Lawyer sounds warning over $100,000 Kirsty Bentley murder reward

Arina Fedorova
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Initial released on NZ Herald

By Daryl Holden

Kirsty Bentley

Kirsty Bentley's murder stays unresolved. Image: Provided

Authorities have actually soft-pedaled concerns a $100,000 incentive in the cool situation murder of Ashburton teen Kirsty Bentley can lead to a wrongful sentence.

Nationally-respected criminal support lawyer Annabel Cresswell has actually advised cops to be cautious when using a cash money incentive for info or proof resulting in the identification and also sentence of those in charge of Kirsty's murder.

Kirsty was last seen strolling her canine on the mid-day of 31 December, 1998, and also her body was discovered in the Rakaia Chasm greater than 2 weeks later on, a day prior to her 16th birthday celebration.

It stays New Zealand's most well-known cool situation murder, with Christchurch Investigator Examiner Greg Murton supervising an unresolved murder that has actually had cops puzzled for virtually a quarter of a century.

In July, he introduced the incentive deal yet Cresswell stated that featured a threat due to the fact that it can urge a person to “make up something utterly untrue just to get the money”.

She said that could result in a wrongful conviction and “someone innocent being placed in jail”.

About 50 pieces of information related to the murder have apparently come forward since the reward was announced but Murton assured they would be thoroughly reviewed.

“That info need to undergo a strenuous evaluation procedure to establish its credibility and also whether it needs additional examination,” stated Murton, that in 2014 ended up being the 3rd assessor to lead the situation.

“Rewards are offered in certain circumstances, with specific and stringent procedures in place.”

A sizeable cash reward is not a new murder-solving ploy by New Zealand police.

In 2019, $100,000 was also offered for information about the notorious unsolved murder of Christchurch mother Angela Blackmoore.

She was 10 weeks pregnant when she was stabbed 39 times in her home in 1995, while her 2-year-old son Dillon slept in the next room.

A year later, after reward information came forward, an amateur contract killer was jailed for the horrific murder.

Murton admitted the Kirsty reward offer was with one focus in mind.

“Our objective is, and also has actually constantly been, to discover what occurred to Kirsty and also give her liked ones with a feeling of closure,” he stated.

Murton likewise recognized the influence the situation still plainly carried the broader Ashburton Area.

“It's clear to see, after all this time, there remains a high level of care and concern in the Ashburton community for Kirsty and her family,” he said.

“We once again prompt any individual in Ashburton with info that might aid to find onward.”

Catch Kirsty's awesome

What: Authorities are determined for aid to address the historical murder of Ashburton teen Kirsty Bentley.

The tale: Kirsty's body was discovered 18 days after she went away while strolling the household canine in Ashburton on New Year's Eve 1998. It is New Zealand's most well-known cool situation murder.

If you know: Call the cops using their 105 non-emergency number and also recommendation Procedure Kirsty. Or call Criminal offense Stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Award: A $100,000 has actually been released and also would certainly stay in position for 6 months. Resistance from prosecution might be taken into consideration for any type of partners need to they step forward.

This tale initially showed up in the Ashburton Guardian

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