Convicted New Zealand rapist and murderer to repay legal bill at US$1.41 per week
Richard Genge, who was jailed for life for a fatal 1994 attack, had argued that he couldn’t afford to pay the US$15,000-plus bill on weekly benefits
By Kurt Bayer
A convicted rapist and murderer will repay thousands of dollars in legal costs to the Government at the rate of NZ$2 (US$1.41) a week after losing an appeal.
Richard Lyall Genge was jailed for life with a minimum non-parole period of 15 years after the brutal and fatal September 1994 attack on 22-year-old Christchurch woman Anne Maree Ellens in the grounds of Christchurch East primary school.
While she was heavily-intoxicated, Genge and co-accused Samuel Kirner and Michael October took her into the school before raping her and savagely beating her to death. Her semi-naked body was found on the school steps the next morning.
The three men were jailed in October 1995.
The killer, described in the past as being “evil”, has lost subsequent appeals that he was locked up unlawfully.
In 2013, Genge was convicted of behaving in “an offensive, threatening and intimidating” manner towards a prison doctor.
Last year, he appealed the decision, claiming there had been “a breach of natural justice” because he was not notified of the date of the hearing until the day before and was unable to arrange a material witness.
In 2016, Genge applied to the High Court of New Zealand for NZ$100 (US$70) for every day he spent as a high-security prisoner over two months in 2013.
Justice David Gendall rejected his claims in December, saying due process had been followed and ordered Genge to pay NZ$22,087 (US$15,623) in costs. Security for costs was set at NZ$6600 (US$4,668).
Genge then lodged an appeal against the costs judgement on the grounds that he cannot afford to pay.
He argued that he was impecunious because as a long-term prisoner he is currently earning NZ$2.70 (US$1.91) per week from the prison unemployment benefit.
Genge said he did not seek Legal Aid because he “mistrusts lawyers” and considers that his legal representation over time has been inadequate.
But an appeal judge has now ruled that his appeal has “little prospect of succeeding” and threw out the bid.
Last year, the Court of Appeal rejected his latest bid to appeal against his conviction, more than 20 years later.
Appeal judges said the delay in bringing his appeal was extreme.
“Mr Genge has no explanation for it, and he has not identified a viable ground of appeal,” they concluded.
Genge remains a serving prisoner and is again eligible for parole next month.