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Paternal family pleased with Miles murder verdict

Tue 16 Apr 2013 In: New Zealand Daily News

Hayden Miles Hayden Miles' father and his family say they are pleased with the verdict of murder just announced against the killer of the troubled "feminine" gay Christchurch youth who they describe as "just a boy". According to testimony and evidence presented to the High Court in Christchurch over the past week, Miles, 15, was subject to a merciless and callous beating over several hours, with his killer laughing and taunting him to take his own life. He was repeatedly kicked and pinched, particularly about the head and face by Gavin Gosnell, 28, who also tried to break his arms. Before the attack in a Cashel Street, Christchurch flat after all those present had been drinking, Gosnell had speculated to others that he could kill someone and get away with it. Although the youth's sexuality was not directly the cause of his murder, respected criminologist Greg Newbold has suggested in the past that for those with violence in mind gay people can be seen to be soft targets. Gosnell has said he suspected Miles was gay and the youth, who was struggling with behavioural issues and alcohol abuse, and was described in court by a witness as "feminine, not masculine," short and skinny. "The family are pleased with the verdict that the jury have arrived at today," says Miles' paternal family, including his father who separated from Miles' mother some years ago. "We sincerely thank all those who have been involved in this case and all those who have offered us support throughout this ordeal. "We will always miss Hayden and grieve the fact that his life was taken so early. "We will never come to terms with the extreme violence and cruelty that Hayden suffered at Gavin’s hands, nor the extreme disrespect he showed in dismembering and concealing his body. "We would also like to publicly condemn all those who knew what had happened to Hayden but did not come forward at the earliest opportunity. Through their inaction they condoned Gavin’s heinous behaviour." The paternal family says Gosnell should be sentenced to the full extent of the law. "Hayden was just a boy," they noted in their statement.    

Credit: Daily News staffg

First published: Tuesday, 16th April 2013 - 1:31pm

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