Stephen James Webb
From a Christchurch Press story July 1996
A High Court judge yesterday told one of three people found guilty of murdering a streetkid last August that when the youth died the ''forces of evil seemed to have been at work''. Justice Moran told the court Darryn Thomas Buckfield, 16, was a streetkid, seemingly a person of little consequence, and a youth about whom few cared.
''It is ironic that it was not until he was murdered that his life became a huge consequence, getting attention from the police and the criminal justice system. This can be explained by the fact that the sanctity of human life is the foundation of every just and fair human society, something lost on those responsible for his (Buckfield's) death.''
Last month, Nathan Earl Schriek, 29, a cleaner, Stephen James Webb, 22, an unemployed sales representative, and Angelique Margaret McKay, 18, unemployed, were each found guilty by a High Court jury of murdering Mr Buckfield. McKay was also found guilty of kidnapping the deceased from outside the Christchurch City Mission, a charge that Schriek and Webb admitted during the three-week trial. Erik Alian Santos, 32, unemployed, was found guilty of kidnapping Mr Buckfield. He earlier admitted assaulting the youth. Schriek, Webb, and McKay were sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder.
McKay received a concurrent term of four years jail for the kidnapping, while Schriek and Webb received a concurrent eight- year sentence for the kidnapping. Santos was sentenced to three years imprisonment for kidnapping, and was convicted and discharged on the assault charge. Eugene Wayne Turner, 18, pleaded guilty before the trial to kidnapping and murdering Mr Buckfield. He was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder and 6 years 6 months jail, to be served concurrently, for the kidnapping. Mr Buckfield's beaten and badly decomposed body was found by sightseers on October 1 down a bank on the south side of the Rakaia Gorge. It had been there almost six weeks.
The jury agreed with Crown allegations that Schriek, Webb, McKay, and Santos lured Mr Buckfield from the mission, took him to their Langdons Road home, and assaulted him in what Justice Moran yesterday described as a sustained and sadistic beating. The jury accepted that Webb, Schriek, McKay, and Turner took Mr Buckfield to the Rakaia Gorge where he was again subjected to a severe beating, including being struck with a sledgehammer by Turner, then thrown down the bank. Appearing for Santos and McKay, Barrie Atkinson, QC, sought a discharge for both his clients under section 19 of the Criminal Justice Act, saying that Santos's culpability during the assault at the house was very slight and that McKay's only contribution to the kidnapping, based on admissible evidence, was her presence and encouragement.
Mr Atkinson, as did other defence counsel, criticised the probation report prepared for their clients and said McKay had tried to help the deceased. She had been abused and left home after a lack of support there. Justice Moran told McKay she was ''headstrong and foolish and like so many others have abused alcohol and drugs. You have been described by some as being cold and immoral, something evident by the complete lack of decency on August 15''. The judge told Santos that he had commenced the hostilities against Mr Buckfield at the house -- a comment which drew the response "bullshit'' from Santos -- and that he had displayed an air of indifference to the situation.
Counsel for Schriek, Mervyn Glue, said Schriek continued to make his denials and had expressed regret about Mr Buckfield's death. He was prepared to accept responsibility for manslaughter but rejected the murder conviction, counsel said. Simon Shamy, for Webb, said his client came from a good background but had fallen into bad habits. The judge remarked on Schriek's comment during a video interview of his adherence to Satanism, saying: ''It seems that when Darryn Buckfield died there were forces of evil at work that night''.
Date of Birth
19 January 1974
Bealey Avenue, Christchurch
Sentenced to life (ten years) in July 1996
Paroled September 2006
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