News

Teen charged with Szendrei murder named online

Delta Police Sgt. Sharlene Brooks - File
Delta Police Sgt. Sharlene Brooks
— image credit: File

The name of the teen accused of killing North Delta's Laura Szendrei is splashed throughout the Internet, despite laws prohibiting the identification of the individual.

Last Monday, police announced they arrested an 18-year-old male in the September 2010 brutal daytime killing of 15-year-old Szendrei. He has been charged with first-degree murder.

The Burnsview Secondary student was attacked at 1:30 p.m. on a Saturday in Mackie Park, located in the 8200 block of 110 Street. She died later in hospital.

Because the young man was 17 at the time of the offense he is accused of committing, under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, he cannot be publicly identified.

The act states that "no person shall publish the name of a young person, or any other information related to a young person, if it would identify the young person as a young person dealt with under this Act."

It's believed those posting his name on social networking sites may not understand either the law or the fact that their posts are accessible throughout the Internet.

Delta Police Sgt. Sharlene Brooks said police will attempt to educate the public about the issue rather than pursue charges.

"It is very conceivable that the general public would be unaware that it would be an offense to share this information in and among themselves," Brooks said. "But it is, in fact, actually an offence."

The Szendrei investigation is still continuing, and the Delta Police do not want to detract from that effort by seeking out people violating the Act.

Making it more difficult, Brooks said, is that some of the sites are hosted out of the country, making it difficult to obtain information from those servers.

Further information about the legalities of identifying the person charged can be found at http://deltapolice.ca/media/current.php.

The accused is scheduled is scheduled to appear in Surrey Provincial Court on March 7.

kdiakiw@surreyleader.com

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