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Kiwi's Deadly Force

Killer A Medal Chance

A convicted child killer has been selected in New Zealand's boxing team for the Commonwealth Games.
Soulan Pownceby, 29, is rated one of the Kiwi's main hopes for a boxing medal in Melbourne.
In 1995 Pownceby was sentenced to four years jail for the brutal killing of his five-month daughter Jeanette.
Arthur Tunstall, the driving force behind Australian amateur boxing for half a century, said Pownceby had done his time and was now a free agent again.
"If the New Zealand people pick him their side we have to accept their decision," he said.
New Zealand amatuer boxing boss Keith Walker said Pownceby had been dealt with by the judicial system and was free to leave the country.
"He is deeply remorseful for what happened," he said. "He has done his time so who are we to stand in judgement of him?
"Soul has made a fresh start and kept his nose clean, and I don't see any reason why he would change that now."
Games Minister Justin Madden and Melbourne 2006 chairman Ron Walker said they had no authority over team selection.
"It's a matter for the authority to advise us of their selection and once they're selected, and all the approvals are given, we are very happy for them to compete," Mr Walker said.
A court heard Pownceby's baby was subjected to a short, brutal life of abuse and neglect.
She was healing from six fractured ribs when Pownceby, then 19, killed her.
An autopsy showed the baby girl had a cracked skull and her brain has split.
Evidence at POwnceby's trial described Jeanette as malnourished, with wasted buttocks and thighs.
SHe weighed barely more than her 3kg birth weight and had scabies.
The court heard how Pownceby had shaved off his daughter's eyebrows a few days before she died.
Jeanette's mother was getting takeaway food on the night of October 19, 1994, when the baby was fatally injured at Pownceby's Christchurch home.
An ambulance was called after Pownceby ran next door to get help, saying he found the baby in her cot not breathing. Jeanette died in hospital.
Pownceby told police he had accidentally dropped Jeanette in the shower but during his trial he changed his story to say she had fallen on to the wooden arm of a sofa. He was found guilty of manslaughter.
When he was released from prison in 1998, he took his mother's maiden name, Pownceby, and was paorled to live with a Salvation Army boxing academy coach. After he was released there were four more assault convictions, including one involving a woman.
Pownceby later converted to Catholicism and, according to boxing officials in New Zealand, turned his life around from one of drugs, violence and gang culture.
His selection for the 2004 Athens Olympics sparked outrage among women's groups.
At the time a tearful Pownceby apologised for the horrible crime and accepted responsibility for what he had done.
"I am sorry and I'm just trying to be the best person I can be," the boxer said on TV.
The Department of Immigration said Pownceby would have to pass a good character test to gain a Games visa.

Herald Sun (8-2-2006)
Grantlee Kieza/ Shaun Phillips

Killer Boxer Could Yet Be Banned

A boxer who killed his infant daughter may be barred from the Commonwealth Games.
Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone said a committee would consider the case of Soulan Pownceby, 29.
All foreign athletes coming to Melbourne next month need a special entry authority from the Federal Government confirming they of good character.
Ms Vanstone could deny Pownceby entry on the basis of his 1995 manslaughter conviciton.
"We have an entry advisory group," Senator Vanstone told the Herald Sun. "When we have further information at hand the decision will be made."
Boxing officials including Arthur Dunstall and Melbourne 2006 chiefs Justin Madden and Ron Walker backed Pownceby's right to compete.
Premier Steve Bracks yesterday distanced himself from the controversy.
"I understand the athlete involved competed already at the Athens Olympics," he said. "It's a decision for the New Zealand Government and the New Zealand Authorities."
Pownceby was jailed for four years after pleading guilty to manslaughter over the death of his five-month-old daughter Jeanette. An autposy showed the child's skull had been cracked and her brain split.
Pownceby was freed in 1998 but recorded four subsequent assault convictions. He represented New Zealand, amid much controversy, at the 2004 Athens Games.
Crime Victim Support Association president Noel McNamara said he was horrified at the prospect of Pownceby boxing in Melbourne.
"When you look at his record and what he did to that child, he should not be allowed in this country," he said.
Pownceby found a supporter in federal Opposition sports spokeswoman Kate Lundy. "We have to respect the justice system of Australia and other countries," she said.
The New Zealand Government said it had no role to play in the case.
Sports Minister Trevor Mallard said: "Selection in a democracy like New Zealand is a matter for boxing and the Commonwealth Games committee."

Herald Sun (9-2-2006)
Shaun Phillips/ Ellen Whinnet


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Killer Unwelcome

Sports organisations have a track record of using influence to have rules bent for their own ends.
But this must not happen in the case of convicted child killer selected for New Zealand's Commonwealth Games Boxing team. In 1995 a court sentenced Soulan Pownceby to four year's jail for killing his five-month-old daughter, Jeanette.
The circumstances preceding her death were appalling. After Pownceby's release there were four more assault convictions including one involving a woman.
New Zealand amatuer boxing boss Keith Walker relies on the hackneyed argument that having done his time Pownceby is free to represent his country here.
The Australian Department of Immigration says he must pass a good character test to get a Games visa.
He must not be allowed in simply because he is a top sportsman.

Herald Sun (9-2-2006)

Minister Silent On Killer's Visa

Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone yesterday said she would wait on her department to decide on a Games visa for New Zealand's baby-killer boxer.
Soulan Pownceby was convicted of manslaughter 10 years ago over the death of his infant daughter.
He needs a visa to enter Australia as a member of the Kiwi Commonwealth Games team.
Senator Vanstone would not give her personal view on whether Pownceby should be admitted.
"Unitl a decision is made I doubt that (the department) would appreciate hearing advice from their minister through the media," she siad.
Prime Minister John Howard has said he does not like the idea of boxer gaining entry.

Herald Sun (24-2-2006)
Shaun Phillips

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