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Victim Recounts Lucky Escape From Attack By Aim's Murderer

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Karen Aim
Karen Aim

Wellington, March 9 NZPA - The woman who survived an attack by teenager Jahche Broughton says she did not know whether he meant to also murder her, just days before he killed Scottish tourist Karen Aim.

Broughton, 15, pleaded guilty at a pre-trial hearing in Auckland last month to murdering Miss Aim, 27.

He was only 14 when he bashed her in a Taupo street on January 17 last year following a vandalism spree at Taupo Nui a Tia College.

Broughton also pleaded guilty to injuring a 17-year-old woman with intent to cause grievous bodily harm in a separate incident 12 days earlier.

Zara Schofield told 60 Minutes on TV3 tonight that every day she thought she was lucky to be alive.

She described how she was attacked from behind and suffered 10 large cuts to back of her head from the rock.

She had bruises all over her body and cut to her hands from trying to protect herself.

Now 19, the apprentice chef said she could not believe Broughton attacked another woman shortly afterwards.

"Was his aim to kill me or just get my bag off me? I can't believe he went out and did it again, two weeks later. Went out and just murdered an innocent girl."

Meanwhile, Broughton's uncle, a security guard who was aware of the attack on Miss Schofield, has been convicted of helping the teen cover up evidence of the 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.

On January 5 last year, Broughton turned up at Herewini's house after Miss Schofield's bashing.

He had 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.

Twelve days later 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.

Herewini testified against Broughton during a depositions hearing in September.

Herewini admitted to 60 Minutes that he should have told police when he was aware of the attack on Miss Schofield.

He said he felt consumed with guilt and was sorry that he didn't go the police earlier.

Meanwhile, Broughton's mother Eugenie Broughton said she did not believe her son killed Ms Aim despite the evidence against him, including the murder weapon stored under his house.

"I have got to a point that I have accepted that he is involved in some way. I don't believe for a fact that he could be violent to anyone, let alone with a weapon."

Kids would say things under pressure if they were pushed the right way, she said.

She had asked him if he killed Ms Aim.

"He said no, he didn't do it, and I believe him."

She thought he was covering up for somebody else despite there being no evidence for that.

"We could be dealing with a very clever person. What's a child to know, they are only naive."

Despite reports that Broughton would change his guilty plea, he will be sentenced on March 26.

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