Susan Couch reveals $300,000 settlement with Corrections

Susan Couch

Susan Couch, the sole survivor of an attack at an Auckland Returned and Services Association in which three people were murdered, will receive a settlement of $300,000 from the Corrections Department.

The attack, 11 years ago, left Ms Couch partially paralysed and with brain damage by William Bell, who was on parole for aggravated robbery.

The settlement amount was embargoed until 7pm tonight, when Ms Couch talked exclusively with John Campbell live on TV3. Ms Couch’s lawyer Brian Henry and Corrections chief Ray Smith also appeared on Campbell Live.

In the Campbell Live interview, Ms Couch said of the outcome and settlement:

"Very mixed emotions. I'm exhausted, I'm over it right now. It's been nearly 11 years of government departments which will still continue even after the settlement.

"I'm looking at it as the closest to an apology I'll get. People dont realise when they make an apology they are validating someones suffering and not just ignoring them. 

"It's not a formal apology, it's a 'whoops sorry, our bad' but I'll take it."

Her lawyer Mr Henry argued before the High Court in May that Bell's probation officer had been inexperienced and her bosses had failed to supervise her.

Watch the full interview here.

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9 Comments & Questions

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I am happy for Susan but believe she was entitled to receive at least 5 times more. The comment by corrections they were trying to save tax payer money is ridiculous. Tax payers want to live in a safe country. NZ has bad bail laws and no protection against the scum that is plentiful due to weak Judges and poor Laws.
I wonder if Susan and her work mates that died were Judges what the courts would do to perpetrators of that crime.
I will spew if David Bain get any payout at all. Just watch and see, innocent Susan and other victims get bugger all, and Bain will get millions and i for one have no doubt he is guilty as charged.
I appreciate being able to comment here and wish Susan every success in her further action against ACC and i admire and thank her for having the courage to do so on behalf of all victims of crime.


What a shameful performance. This lady should have got a lot more, much sooner.


How much has been spent denying justice here? A day for many bureaucrats to hang their heads in shame.


I’m sure Corrections would have spent many hundreds of thousands, or possibly millions of dollars, defending themselves against Susan Couch’s fight for justice. The whole thing is disgusting.

300K for a life ruined is pathetic.


The amount of the payout is a joke. It should have been $3,000,000. Her payout for 11 years of stress and destroyed life is under $30k per year - all at the hands of a dangerous criminal out on the streets when he should have been locked up. How much as taxpayers we have paid out for him! Most likely over $100,000 a year - how's that fair?
It's just another joke that has our legal system and government agencies blaming each other.
I hope she keeps going for the result she deserves.


I'll guarantee the head goon of the 'organisation' concerned (and I use the term loosely) will have been given an additional $300k PER ANNUM in the time they have filibustered this shameful, particularly venal and wicked injustice.
Yet another stalled disgrace. NZ seems to specialise in these and to be able to produce at least two a year and drag things out for a decade or two before fronting up. What does it say about the national character?


This is just a disgraceful settlement, I dare say it would be a vastly different scenario if it was the head of Corrections wife or sister getting that pittance awarded to her, in fact all hell would break loose I suggest, here we have another case of people in high up positions screwing the life out of the unfortunate and bloody unfortunate!!
I sincerely hope this is not the end of the matter, as this poor woman will be extremely lucky just just get a fraction of that, after her costs have been deducted, HELL some people are cruel SODS!!!


Ray Smith did your pen run out of ink when writing Miss Couch her cheque think you forgot the extra 0 should it not be $3million not a measly $300k, seems to me tht you had triple that amount to go head to head in the courts and hire the Rolls Royce of lawyers. Best of Luck Susan hold your head up high and will come out on top soon.


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