Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Murder Of British Woman Jacqueline Blackbourn, Trial Underway

The trial of the man accused of the murder and rape of British immigrant, Jacqueline Blackbourn, got underway at Auckland Crown Court today. The man has already pleaded guilty to a charge of arson.
The Crown said in its opening statement that Jacqueline had been raped, strangled and stabbed to death before being set alight in her Glenfield home.

A knife had been plunged into her chest with such force that it when through her sternum. Siobhan Buckley told the court that Jacqueline's boyfriend could not accept the fact that their two year relationship was over and was "relentless in his attempts" to get her back.

A former girlfriend of the accused was in tears when she told about three incidents in which
"household items were smashed and she was physically or verbally assaulted.
After one dinner party she said the accused went "absolutely crazy", dragging her down the hallway before pushing her up against the kitchen bench and putting his hands around her throat.
"I thought he was going to kill me for sure. I was terrified really," she said.
Under cross-examination, the woman admitted that she hadn't called police or sought medical attention after the incidents.
"I'd say nine out of 10 women who get beat don't go to police," she told the court..." source
Ms Blackbourn was found in her burning house in Glenfield, North Shore in June 2010. At the time of the accused man's  arrest, news reports said a 28 year old man had appeared in court and
Police said that Ms Blackbourn, 43, suffered a violent death inside the View Road, Glenfield, house on the night of June 26. Police said the man, who has interim name suppression, was also charged with historical offences that related to another female complainant.  These included injuring with intent to injure, assault with intent to injure, assault with a weapon and intentional damage...
...Ms Blackbourn came to New Zealand from England 20 years ago.”
In our blog of 30 June 2010 we reported that the NZ Herald said that Jacqueline had recently split up with her partner, Steve Ellis. He was severely burned in the fire was found outside the property wearing only his underpants. Her former boyfriend, Karl Hawthorne, told reporters that Ms Blackbourn:
“worked in the accounts section of Harvey Norman at Wairau Park, was “the life of the party” and loved dancing, Mr Hawthorne said.
She missed her family, who were all overseas.
“She was really close to her mum,” he said. “There wouldn’t have been two days go by that she wasn’t in contact with her.”
Another friend, Margie Cardwell, described Ms Blackbourn as an “English rose”. “She was really feminine and girly, looked quite young for her age. She had a heart of gold.”
Ms Blackbourn’s brother, Tommaso Cerullo, yesterday left a heartfelt message for her on a social networking website.
“Rest in peace my darling sister. Love you and always will. You will never be forgotten in my heart or soul, miss you so much.
“To all the people that had the pleasure of having their heart lifted by her kindness and her smile, thank you for being there for her.”
Detective Senior Sergeant Kim Libby, of North Shore CIB, said police officers hoped to speak to Mr Ellis in the next couple of days.
His injuries were not life-threatening, he added.
They would continue combing the scene of the fire today. A post mortem examination has been carried out on Ms Blackbourn, but police have declined to reveal the cause of death, saying only that it was violent.”
Our deepest sympathies are again extended to Jacqueline’s family and friends for their terrible loss. Our thoughts are with you all in the difficult days that lie ahead during the trial.
Domestic Violence a problem in New Zealand
Far from being the safe haven it wishes to present to the world, life in New Zealand is a misery for hundreds of thousands of women, a third of them have been affected by domestic violence at some time during their lives.
New Zealand has an appalling record for domestic violence and some of the highest preventable child death stats in the developed world.  After a spike in referrals to Women's refuges after the shock of the All Black defeat in the 2007 Rugby World Cup, refuges were on standby for an influx if New Zealand lost again in 2011.
NZ’s appalling record for domestic violence is shamed by an international human rights group
"Police statistics show a 15% increase in the number of family violence incidents and offences in 2007-08, with more than 86,000 reports made. They say family violence affects a third of all women during their lifetime and that 45% of murders in New Zealand are family violence-related.
Meanwhile, a second report calling for an overhaul of systems to keep women and girls safe is being presented alongside the New York findings. The report, by a newly-formed local group called the Roundtable of Violence Against Women, says certain types of violence and victims are being overlooked. This includes prostitutes who come from countries known for trafficking, such as Korea, Thailand, Eastern Europe and the Philippines.
It also highlights the "serial abuse" of many immigrant women, saying both Women's Refuge and the Shakti Community Council have evidence that men are using women's residency status to exploit them and keep them in abusive relationships..." April 2009 source
For more read our blogs tagged violence against women.
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