TODAY |

Mum of teenager killed in drunken hit-and-run wants tougher penalties for his killer

The mother of a teenager killed in a drunken hit-and-run has started a petition seeking a harsher penality for his killer.

Charlene Kraatskow says she doesn't want other families to go through the pain she has been through.

"I never want this to happen to another family," she said.

Her son Nathan Kraatskow died in May when Rouxle Le Roux, 19, hit him at an intersection in Albany, Auckland.

She had smoked cannabis and drunk wine earlier that day before she crashed her Mercedes into the 15-year-old, who was riding a small bike.

Nathan died at the scene and Le Roux failed to stop.

Le Roux was sentenced at Auckland District Court on Friday to 11 months’ home detention and 250 hours of community work for dangerous driving causing death.

Ms Kraatskow said she was unhappy with the sentence.

"I don't think taking someone's life and only getting 11 month's home detention is setting a very good precedent for the kids of today," she told the NZ Herald.

She started a petition on Change.org questioning the New Zealand justice system and calling on prosecutors to appeal Le Roux’s sentence.

"They see they can smoke weed, get in a car drunk, drive and then can kill someone and get 11 months' home detention," Charlene says.

Her petition has now received more than 60,000 signatures within hours of going live, with a number of people agreeing that Le Roux's sentence is not long enough.

Charlene was amazed by the support and made her realise she was not the only one who thought the 19-year-old's sentencing was wrong.

Adding to the pain, Nathan's mother was also horrified to later find out Le Roux posted a photo on Instagram of her wearing an orange jumpsuit with the caption: "Hide your children".

"I just could not understand how someone could be so heartless and think this whole thing was a joke?" Kraatskow's mother told the court.

She told the Herald she initially thought Le Roux would be devastated and struggle her whole life to come to terms with the fact she had killed another person.

But instead, Charlene said her family watched as Le Roux posted photos of herself partying on Instagram, before then posting the "disgusting and disrespectful" post of herself in the prison-like jumpsuit on Halloween.

She says the feeling Le Roux was treating the justice system like a joke added to her family's pain.

Charlene says her family are still coming to terms with his death. 

"It's very hard, but I know Nathan would be saying to me: 'Mum you've got my sisters and my brother to care for, you need to get up out of bed, carry on and look after them," she said.

Nathan Kraatskow.
Nathan Kraatskow. Source: New Zealand Police