The Sunday Star-Times has dished up a sickening pot of pap today after tracking down the horse-breeder accused of shooting dead his missus at their Matamata home.
It’s a very one-sided story, because she is not around to give her account of what happened.
The scribe at the SST has allowed the bugger to make the most of Mrs Meads’ inability to put a different spin on things – he is quoted as saying he is “not a killer” and that he “never wanted to see her dead”.
Alf would like the SST to have written a very different story by asking the authorities why the bugger is out on bail.
Greg Howard Meads, 54, was imprisoned in September after detectives charged him with murdering Helen Meads, 42. But last week he was at his parents’ Bay of Plenty home, where he was bailed on December 17.
The decision of an Auckland High Court judge to bail Meads just before Christmas went against Crown wishes and has angered friends of the family of the deceased.
Police claim Meads used a shotgun to kill his wife following a dispute on September 23 at the couple’s semi-rural Waikato property.
Helen Meads, district commissioner of the Matamata Pony Club, was discovered with a single shot wound to her stomach.
The couple had been married for 10 years, but had split up shortly before the tragedy. Helen Meads had reportedly begun moving out of the marital home, along with the couple’s eight-year-old daughter, Samantha.
What exactly happened will – and should – be sorted out in the court-room, where the facts can be put dispassionately to a jury.
The SST – not for the first time – has opted to taint this process by giving an accused person a chance to portray himself as good and decent – blah, blah, blah.
Yesterday, from his parents’ lakeside home in Te Puna, Meads spoke for the first time about the day his wife died. Clearly emotional, he was in tears at several points during the interview.
“I am a 54-year-old man and have never been in trouble with the law before. A terrible tragedy happened and if I had one wish in the world it would be to turn the clock back,” Meads told the Star-Times.
“I am not a killer. I never wanted to see her dead. That was never supposed to happen. It never was.
“All I want is for life to go back to how it was. I’m sure you can work out that life for me will never be the same.”
So what did Meads want, exactly, and what was supposed to happen?
Readers of this mawkish story are then treated to an account of life behind bars, presumably intended to make us feel sorry for the bloke.
Alf Meads said his time behind bars was indescribable. “I have been in solitary confinement, away from everyone the whole time. Shut off. At first I wanted to take my life.”
But the bleeding-heart SST scribe hasn’t finished and drags the tale to greater depths.
One of the several bail conditions Meads is subject to means he cannot contact his daughter Samantha.
“That is the most heartbreaking thing. From inside prison I was allowed to write to her but now I’m out I can’t, otherwise I will be breaching my bail.”
Meads pointed to a room containing Christmas presents intended for Samantha, then broke down before saying: “I can’t give them to her. God, I can’t tell you what that feels like.”
Meads said the reason he had decided against taking his life was because of his children. “That’s the driving force to give myself a target to aim for… the target is to be a father.”
The critical issue in this trash piece of journalism is that Meads refused to discuss the “domestic incident” that preceded his wife’s death.
When asked if he shot his wife, as police allege, Meads put his head into his hands and cried, before saying: “I am not up to talking about this at the moment, I have said enough; probably I have said too much. You must go.”
He has said too much. Much worse, the SST has seen fit to print it. The same authorities who are intent on harpooning Whale Oil should put our contempt of court laws to the test in this case.
The story is bound to enrage the family and friends of Helen Meads, who are already upset by the decision to release the bugger on bail.
It seems the bail conditions are strict – he must reside at his parents’ home each night between 8pm and 8am; he was obliged to hand over his passport; he is forbidden from travelling to Matamata and must report to Tauranga police station each Monday and Friday.
He is not allowed to have any contact with his daughter Samantha and must not go within 30km of the Matamata Post Office. He is allowed to visit an address in Matamata for “business purposes” for a maximum two-hour period, but not before seeking police permission.
If he does not break those conditions he will remain on bail until his trial – his next scheduled appearance is at Hamilton High Court on February 19.
It can’t come soon enough for us to hear the full story.