Woman charged with manslaughter

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 Mr Jones during an early morning altercation at his Hastings flat last October.

After several hours of surgery, Mr 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.

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

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

Mr 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,'' Mr Duxfield said.

Gerbes was remanded on bail with the conditions that she live at a Hastings address and does not visit the flat where the incident occurred.

She has surrendered her passport to the court.

She will reappear in March.

Contact Tracey Chatterton
Hawke's Bay reporter
Email: tracey.chatterton@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @trackchatt

The Dominion Post