No effort into guest safety at party where Sophia Crestani died, tenant admits

A tenant of a fatal Dunedin student flat party has admitted he did not put any effort into looking after guest safety.

University of Otago student Sophia Crestani, 19, died during a stairwell pile up at an overcrowded flat party at The Manor in October, 2019.

An inquest is underway in the Dunedin District Court.

The Manor tenant Kees Scott told the inquest that he had more than 30 drinks at the ‘Maggot Fest’ party and spent most of the night in another tenant’s room.

They blocked off other exits, sealed up doors, and put plastic on the floors to protect their belongings which had been damaged in the past, he said.

During cross examination, Sophia’s father Bede Crestani said it appeared the tenants wanted to protect their gear and the flat, not their guests.

Bede Crestani - father of Sophia

Crestani asked Scott if he put any effort into looking after guest safety, to which Scott answered no, not really.

He was questioned why he did not make more of an effort given The Manor had received multiple noise complaints and more than 400 people were invited.

Scott left the party about 11pm to use a toilet in a different house, arriving back to find a commotion with people coming out onto the street and screaming, he said.

That was when he became aware of a pile up, and he recalled removing barricades from the doors.

He admitted he appeared to have ignored the multiple noise complaints from previous parties and took no action to avoid them.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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