River board death fury

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Mad Dog boss’s comments send Emily’s dad into a rage

 

British backpacker Emily Jordan’s father is incensed at comments by the owner of a Queenstown river boarding company convicted over her death.

Mad Dog River Boarding owner Brad McLeod, pushing for Maritime New Zealand regulation of the activity in Mountain Scene last week, said at the time:

“[Regulation would] change what’s happened since Emily’s incident – and what the Jordan family and myself have had to go through.”

The remark has got Chris Jordan’s blood boiling: “He’s comparing his suffering to ours.

“He’s clearly got no regard, no comprehension about what he’s done at all,” Jordan says from England.

“[McLeod] clearly doesn’t understand what he’s done. [He’s] not understanding the importance of – well, [Mad Dog] killed my daughter at the end of the day.

“To see this idiot claiming he’s suffered and [he] still feels the victim – it really hurts very much.”

Mountain Scene relayed Jordan’s comments in full yesterday to McLeod, whose Mad Dog com­­pany must pay $146,000 in penalties after pleading guilty to MNZ charges last month.

“If Mr Jordan has a problem with myself or anything I’ve said, he can contact me personally – I’m not entering into a media argument,” McLeod says.

“I think you can obviously tell from my tone of voice I disagree with basically every single word he’s just said.”

McLeod disputes Jordan’s accusation that he snubbed him in court on sentencing day after the Englishman said good morning.

“I did not ignore him because he did not speak to me,” McLeod says.

The Queenstowner maintains he told police two days after the tragedy of his willingness to meet Jordan if they thought it may help – he doesn’t know whether his offer was conveyed.

Why not phone Chris Jordan now?

“I don’t believe with the attitude he has at the moment that that would be constructive,” McLeod says.

“I don’t actually think he’s ready to talk to me.”

But isn’t Jordan grieving?

“Yeah, and until he realises there’s grief on our side of it as well …

“We understand the man’s grieving – he lost his daughter, for f—’s sake,” McLeod says.

He agrees Jordan is distressed.

“Obviously – and all he’s doing is putting more distress onto me. He’s not yet accepted that [the death] has put me through a helluva lot – for f—’s sake, we lost a client down there.”

Two of his three guides involved in Emily’s loss can no longer “cope with taking people down the river”, McLeod reveals.

If Jordan contacts him directly, McLeod assures Mountain Scene he’ll “definitely” respond – privately.

McLeod says he cried over the tragedy.

“Hell yes – do you want to talk to my girlfriend? It was her shoulder that it all happened on.”

Meanwhile, as he promised, Jordan is carrying his battle to the Beehive.

He’s emailed Prime Minister John Key as Tourism Minister, calling for changes as a result of Emily’s “totally unnecessary and fully preventable” death.

The essential point in Jordan’s four-page letter is that New Zealand’s unique no-fault Accident Compensation Corp­oration scheme “does not work well in this sector of extreme [adventure tourism] activities”.

In other countries, insurance companies and negligence lawsuits effectively control risks inherent in adventure tourism.

Jordan also slates the $66,000 fine and $88,000 reparations dished out to Mad Dog.

“Apparently in NZ, $66,000 is considered correct for taking someone’s life.”