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Father praised for testifying against his son

Murder victim Shaki Crockwell’s father has thanked the father of the killer for having the strength to testify against him in court.

Derek Spalding’s father was a key prosecution witness in the murder trial, which resulted in a guilty verdict on Friday. He told the jury Spalding confessed the killing to him after he perpetrated the crime in 2007.

He did not tell police straight away because he was scared of his son, but eventually came forward last year.

The father cannot be named due to a reporting ban issued by the judge, and Mr Crockwell’s father Danny Crockwell still doesn’t know what he looks like. He had to wait outside the courtroom during that portion of the evidence because he was waiting to testify for the prosecution himself later in the case.

“It was shocking to me. I didn’t know the Daddy was a witness until the court day came,” he revealed last night. “It took a lot (for him) to do that as a father, but if Shaki was in that predicament I would do the same thing because it’s about hurting people. I don’t like hurting people.

“I want to give my thanks to him for bringing the light because for four years I have been in the dark. He’s done a great thing and I appreciate it, and the Father will bless him.”

The mother of another murder victim also praised the father for giving evidence. Marsha Jones lost her son Shaundae Jones, 20, in a shooting outside a Dockyard nightclub nine years ago.

No one has been brought to justice for the killing and Ms Jones said she is pleased to see a resolution to the Crockwell case as she understands what the victim’s family has endured.

She said of the testimony from Spalding’s father: “I was surprised, I really was. To do the right thing takes a lot of guts and it touched me that he was willing to come forward and say what he knew. It must have taken a lot to do that, but in the end justice was done and another father has seen peace today because of that.”

Martha Dismont, executive director of the Family Centre said: “For a father to turn in his son, that’s a huge deal.” She suspects the father may have felt his actions were what his son needed in order to get help.

“I think it’s very important that parents who are aware of their children being involved in behaviour that’s criminal or hurtful (realise) the child needs help. My first suggestion is to try to get them the help,” she advised.

“If the child isn’t really taking advice and listening then you have no choice but to speak out, because hopefully they will get help in another way and you may be in a position to stop a very serious crime.”

Shadow Attorney General and Minister of Justice Trevor Moniz also encouraged those who may hold the key to cracking unsolved murder cases to speak up.

“It’s not just parents, it goes to siblings and friends too. It’s your obligation to help society,” he said.

Derek Spalding was found guilty of the murder of Shaki Crockwell. (Photo by Akil Simmons)

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Published February 13, 2012 at 7:00 am (Updated February 13, 2012 at 6:19 am)

Father praised for testifying against his son

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