Lilie James household to sue St Andrew’s Cathedral Faculty, lawyers sceptical

November 21, 2023by Naomi Cramer

The parents of murdered water polo coach Lilie James want to sue St Andrew’s Cathedral Faculty for gross negligence and a breach in its obligation of care to her as an worker however office lawyers are sceptical they are going to be profitable.

Ms James, 21, was killed by colleague and former boyfriend Paul Thijssen in a toilet of the elite non-public faculty on October 25 whereas the pair was on the campus after hours returning sports activities tools from an earlier coaching session.

In accordance with The Each day Telegraph, Jamie and Peta James are looking for authorized recommendation about pursuing the varsity for compensation, and to ascertain how Thijssen was in a position to kill their daughter inside the varsity with out anybody listening to or seeing it.

It’s understood a major a part of the James’ authorized motion will centre across the lack of evening time safety.

“There’s a variety of anger there and a variety of unanswered questions for Jamie and Peta,” an in depth family good friend instructed the publication.

“They, like the remainder of us, need to understand how this was in a position to occur inside a college of all locations… (The varsity) had an obligation of care to guard Lilie as an worker.”

Police consider the homicide of Lilie James was premeditated and calculated, not an impulsive act.

Thijssen armed himself with two hammers, one in every of which can have come from a college retailer room.

A detailed good friend of Dutch-born Thijssen mentioned it was the position of the previous St Andrew’s pupil turned sports activities division employee to gather, catalogue and put away sports activities tools after coaching, when the varsity’s many groups returned to the high-rise CBD campus after follow.

Attorneys sceptical

However employment legislation specialist Chris McArdle instructed he believed the household had “little or no case”.

He mentioned the take a look at can be whether or not it was “foreseeable and affordable”.

“Below the Occupational Well being and Security Act, the employer has an obligation to make sure so far as fairly sensible the protection of individuals at work,” he mentioned.

“Given she was in the middle of work, the duty of the employer was to offer a protected place to work ‘so far as fairly practicable’”

“Was it fairly sensible for the employer to make sure security within the office at the moment?”

He mentioned ‘fairly’ was solely inserted into the Act in 2011, making it a lot more durable to prosecute circumstances.

Mr McArdle concluded it might have been tough for the varsity to stop the tragedy.

“This was home violence,” he mentioned. “This lady wouldn’t exit with him. He was a spurned suitor.”

Mr McArdle mentioned the query was: Would an inexpensive particular person assume another safety in place apart from swipe playing cards might have prevented the tragedy?

Comparisons to Stephanie Scott homicide

In 2021, the household of Stephanie Scott efficiently sued the NSW Training Division after the beloved instructor was murdered at Leeton Excessive Faculty within the Riverina when she went to arrange classes forward of taking depart for her upcoming wedding ceremony on a weekend in April 2015.

Faculty cleaner Vincent Stanford was arrested 4 days later and Ms Scott’s burnt physique was discovered by police within the Cocoparra Nationwide Park, about 70km from Leeton, 5 days after her disappearance.

Whereas particulars of the settlement stay confidential the household hoped it might result in change with extra stringent screening procedures for workers at public establishments.

The lawyer who represented the Scott household, John Potter, instructed the 2 circumstances had been markedly completely different.

“There was no indications that Paul Thijssen has a historical past of violent behaviour of which the varsity would have been conscious,” he mentioned.

“In reality the obtainable proof is on the contrary. It seems clear that this was a random act of violence by an individual with no prior historical past.

“That’s the place this case differs considerably from the Scott case as in that case the perpetrator did have a historical past of each violence and unusual behaviour.”

Mr Potter mentioned the one treatment the household of Lilie James would have can be the demise profit beneath the Employees Compensation Act.

The Act gives compensation for the dependants, or property, of a employee who dies on account of a office harm or sickness.

Thijssen was a former prefect and sports activities captain of St Andrew’s Cathedral faculty.

Former St Andrew’s Cathedral Faculty principal, John Collier described him as “an absolute delight” and “a effective pupil” in a much-maligned publication this month to college students at his present faculty Shore.

“What’s chilling in regards to the tragedy which unfolded at St Andrew’s, the shock and grief of which can cascade for a very long time, is that the younger man involved was, in everyone’s estimation, an absolute delight,” Dr Collier wrote.

“He gave the impression to be similar to the most effective of us. An hour earlier than he dedicated the atrocity, he was talking in a relaxed, pleasant mode with employees at that faculty.

“He was not a monster; fairly, within the final 5 hours of his life, he dedicated a monstrous act which was in full contradiction to what everybody who knew him noticed in the remainder of his quick life.”

[email protected] with Natalie Brown, Georgina Noak

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by Naomi Cramer

Auckland Lawyer for FIRST TIME Offenders Seeking to Avoid a Conviction. Family Law Expert in Child Care Custody Disputes. If you are facing Court Naomi will make you feel comfortable every step of the way.  As a consummate professional your goals become hers, with customer service as our top priority. It has always been Naomi’s philosophy to approach whatever you do in life with bold enthusiasm and pure dedication. Complement this with her genuine passion for equal justice and rights for all and you have the formula for success. Naomi is a highly skilled Court lawyer having practised for more than 20 years. She serves the greater Auckland region and can travel to represent clients throughout NZ With extensive experience, an analytical eye for detail, and continuing legal education Naomi’s skill set will maximise your legal rights whilst offering a holistic approach that best fits your individual needs. This is further enhanced with her high level of support and understanding. Naomi will redefine what you expect from your legal professional, facilitating a seamless experience from start to finish.   Her approachable and adaptive demeanor serves her well when working with the diverse cultures that make up the Auckland region. Blend her open and honest approach to her transparent process and you can see why she routinely delivers the satisfying results her clients deserve. If you want to maximise your legal rights, we recommend you book an appointment with Naomi today so she can detail the steps for you to achieve your goals. 

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