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Father Of Slain Scottish Tourist Still Has Questions

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Karen Aim
Karen Aim

Auckland, Feb 5 NZPA - The father of slain Scottish tourist Karen Aim still has questions about her death, after a youth today was convicted of her murder.

Jahche Te Manawa Kaha Broughton, 15, pleaded guilty in the High Court at Auckland to murdering Miss Aim in Taupo 13 months ago.

Miss Aim, 27, was killed while walking home alone after socialising with friends.

Broughton also pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm in relation to a separate attack on a 17-year-old female in Taupo, 12 days earlier.

He was remanded in custody for sentence in the High Court at Rotorua on March 6.

After convicting Broughton, who was 14 at the time of the offences, Justice Graham Lang lifted suppression of his name.

Miss Aim's father, Brian Aim, said he was relieved at not having to sit through a lengthy trial, but there were still questions he wanted answered.

"Part of the process of being able to carry on is to find out exactly what happened that night," he told journalists outside court.

"We don't know for certain whether she was chased, or was she attacked from behind and never knew? I would like that question answered."

Mr Aim, who arrived with wife Peggy and son Alan last month from the Orkney Islands in northern Scotland to attend Broughton's trial, praised the work of detectives involved in the case.

"There were no eyewitnesses to Karen's murder," he said.

"The outcome today would surely be thanks to the good police work within the New Zealand force."

The Aims plan to attend the sentencing before returning home at the end of next month.

Mr Aim said he would be happy met the Broughton family if they wanted a meeting, and he would go along "to listen".

In court, the Aims were supported by about 20 New Zealand relatives as they listened to a detailed summary of facts.

Broughton, who whispered his guilty pleas, showed no emotion in the dock.

Last September, he was committed to trial after a depositions hearing in Taupo Youth Court.

Today's fixture was originally set down as a pre-trial callover to be heard in chambers.

In his summary of facts, crown prosecutor Fletcher Pilditch said Broughton went by bicycle to Taupo Nui-A-Tia College on the night of January 16.

He used a baseball bat to smash numerous windows, activating the school's security system at 2.14am on January 17.

About the same time, Miss Aim left a nightclub to walk home.

"At some point and place, which is unknown, the offender saw Ms Aim and followed her, on his bike, with the baseball bat," Mr Pilditch said.

"It is not known whether Ms Aim was aware of the offender's presence."

When Miss Aim was just metres from home, Broughton struck blows to her head with the baseball bat, causing immediate and massive brain injury.

He pulled up her skirt and tore her underpants before leaving with her handbag.

A police constable found Miss Aim about 2.34am lying in a pool of blood and unresponsive.

She was rushed by ambulance to Taupo Hospital but was declared dead on arrival.

On January 23, police executed a search warrant at the house where Broughton lived.

They found Miss Aim's handbag and camera, a baseball bat embedded with glass from the college and with Miss Aim's blood on it, and the bicycle.

When interviewed, Broughton denied involvement in Miss Aim's death.

Mr Pilditch said the other offence to which Broughton pleaded guilty happened early on January 5, last year.

The victim, who was 17 at the time and who has name suppression, was walking home after a party when Broughton attacked her.

She was struck several times with a rock, before Broughton took off with her handbag.

She received 10 separate head wounds requiring 30 stitches and staples and had injuries to both eyes.

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