Manslaughter

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Manslaughter

 

THE family of former South Gippslander Tauri Litchfield has thanked the community for its support, as four teenagers were found guilty of his manslaughter on Friday.

The 28 year old died after being assaulted and then chased in Mandurah, Western Australia, on Sunday, March 17, 2013.

He grew up in Cape Paterson and attended Newhaven College, before his family moved to Allambee South and he transferred to Leongatha Secondary College.

The Children’s Court of Western Australia found four boys – all aged between 14 and 15 at the time of the offence – not guilty of the charge of murder but guilty of manslaughter.

Another boy was found not guilty of any charge.

Judge Reynolds found one boy had attempted to pickpocket Mr Litchfield, promptly Mr Litchfield to slap the boy. That boy then hit Mr Litchfield in the jaw and Mr Litchfield then fled, with the boys in chase. Judge Reynolds said Mr Litchfield fell and hit his head on bitumen, which caused him to later die.

Sentencing will be delivered on April 24.

Mr Litchfield’s sister, Kirra Litchfield, told The Star from Perth on Friday, “This is basically indescribable, the impact it has had on our family, friends and the community of Western Australia.

“No family should have to go through what we have had to go through. Whatever the court verdict is, it is never going to give us Tauri back.”

Ms Litchfield described her brother as “vibrant and caring, and he is very much missed”.

“He was so enthusiastic. He had that ability to motivate people and was that kind of bloke that would walk into a room and by the time he left, he knew everyone’s names and was quite a go-getter,” she said.

“His enthusiasm was so infectious and he had that massive smile, even when he was being a little bit cheeky.”

Ms Litchfield said her family felt the court proceedings “were considered and respectful of us”.

“We want to thank the WA Police and the court staff and the prosecution and the court volunteers for all their support and kindness, and we want to thank our family and friends for their undescribable love and support they have given us in dealing with our loss and grieving,” she said.

Mr Litchfield’s mother Kerry Biggs did not wish to comment about the verdict but praised the Allambee South community, where she still lives, for its support during the ordeal.

“They are there for us all the time. I can choose to be by myself or I can make a phone call and have someone here in two minutes if I crash. They have just surrounded us with love,” she said.

The family was in Western Australia last year when a bushfire at Hallston threatened their home. Friends moved Ms Biggs’ five horses to safety, and retrieved photos and her financial records in case the fire razed her property.

“Because Tauri lived in so many places around Australia and he had so many contacts overseas, we have just received so much support and response to the trust,” Ms Biggs said.

Early this year, the Bass Coast Show Ambassador’s Ball and Charity Auction dedicated $4000 raised from its show ball towards the trust.

Mr Litchfield’s family and friends have been attending court sessions throughout the 12 month trial.

“It’s been horrific. Imagine sitting there for month after month listening to how your brother was murdered,” Ms Biggs said.

Mr Litchfied’s family has established a trust in his honour, the Tauri Litchfield Memorial Trust, with proceeds possibly going towards Reach, an organisation that supports young people.

To give to the trust, donate to the BSB 033059 account 569841 at any Westpac Bank.

In June last year, the Beenham Club, United Kingdom, hosted a darts knock out and fundraiser towards the trust, raising $3000.

 

Memorable times: Tauri Litchfield pursuing his passion for watersports at Port Douglas, Queensland.

Memorable times: Tauri Litchfield pursuing his passion for watersports at Port Douglas, Queensland.

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Posted by on Apr 1 2014. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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