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Security Guard Helped Protect Karen Aim's Killer

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Karen Aim
Karen Aim

Wellington, Feb 6 NZPA - The security guard on duty at a Taupo college the night Karen Aim's beaten body was found was known to murderer Jahche Broughton and has been convicted of helping the teen cover up evidence of an earlier bashing.

Leigh Herewini, 37, was the former partner of Broughton's aunt and would often take the 14-year-old on security rounds with him, the New Zealand Herald reported.

Yesterday, Broughton, now 15, pleaded guilty at a pre-trial hearing in the High Court at Auckland to the murder of Ms Aim, a Scottish backpacker.

He had been due to stand trial in Rotorua next week. He also pleaded guilty to wounding a 17-year-old girl with intent to cause her grievous bodily harm less than two weeks before he killed Ms Aim.

On January 5 last year, Broughton turned up at Herewini's house after bashing the 17-year-old.

The girl had left a party and started walking home when Broughton tackled her and repeatedly beat her with a rock, stopping only to pick up her handbag.

The girl, who had 10 head wounds that required more than 30 stitches, staggered to a nearby house for help.

Broughton then went to Herewini's house, where the guard helped to stash the girl's stolen pink handbag.

Herewini was working the night Ms Aim was murdered and helped to cordon off the scene. He was charged with being an accessory after the fact and sentenced to five months' community detention and six months' supervision.

The case, in Rotorua in November, was not covered by the media because details of his part in the crime were suppressed for fear they would prejudice Broughton's trial. Suppression orders were lifted yesterday following the young killer's guilty plea.

Herewini testified against Broughton during a depositions hearing in September.

A summary of facts, released at court yesterday, said that on the night of the first attack, Broughton arrived at Herewini's house with blood on his T-shirt, hands and under an armpit. He told Herewini he had been in a fight at a party.

Herewini helped Broughton clean up and the pair then went through the victim's handbag, which Broughton later told Herewini he had found on a footpath.

They each took $20 from the girl's wallet before Herewini hid the handbag in bush at the back of his property.

He then took the boy home. Police were in his driveway when he returned after they had used a dog to trace the scent from the scene of the attack on the 17-year-old.

Three days later Herewini disposed of the handbag near a sewerage plant. He later took police to the location.

On the night of Ms Aim's murder, Herewini was notified of an alarm going off at Taupo Nui-A-Tia College.

He called police after finding smashed windows at the school. An officer found Ms Aim unconscious nearby.

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