Woman charged with manslaughter

TRACEY CHATTERTON
Last updated 13:58 22/01/2013

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A young woman who described herself as a ''safe haven'' for children has been charged with the manslaughter of her boyfriend.

Juliette Anne Gerbes had a charge of assaulting Christopher Jones upgraded to manslaughter when she appeared in the Hastings District Court today. She entered no plea.

It is alleged that the petite 20-year-old stabbed Jones during an early morning altercation at his Hastings flat last October.

After several hours of surgery, Jones, 22, died in Hawke's Bay Hospital from the stab wounds to his stomach.

Gerbes, a childcare worker, was quoted in a magazine last year claiming she was a ''safe haven'' for children she cared for.

Jones' step-father, Carl Duxfield, said he ''seemed happy'' with Gerbes.

Duxfield and Jones' mother, Sharon, took the first flight from Christchurch to Hawke's Bay when they learned of the incident, but Jones died before they got there.

Jones grew up in Christchurch and went to Lincoln High School. He was a keen freestyle BMXer, competing around the country. He moved to Hastings about 20 months ago.

At the time of his death he was working as a kitchenhand at a restaurant.

''He was happy. He had a good group of friends up there - mostly BMXing guys,'' Duxfield said.

Gerbes was remanded on bail with the conditions that she lived at a Hastings address and did not visit the flat where the incident occurred. She has surrendered her passport to the court and will reappear in March.

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