Motive still mystery for murdered tourist's dad

MIKE WATSON
Last updated 05:00 30/11/2011
MURDERED: Scottish tourist Karen Aim was bashed to death by Jache Broughton in January 2008.
MURDERED: Scottish tourist Karen Aim was bashed to death by Jache Broughton in January 2008.

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The father of murdered Scottish tourist Karen Aim is resigned to never knowing why 14-year-old Jache Broughton killed his only daughter.

"I think he was in a temper and Karen happened to walk by," Brian Aim said yesterday as an inquest into his daughter's death was held in Taupo.

"I would still like to know why he did it but I don't think I ever will," he said from his Orkney Islands home. He and wife Peggy did not attend the inquest.

He agreed with coroner Wallace Bain's judgment that a lack of supervision by Broughton's parents had contributed to the murder.

Karen Aim, 27, was bashed with a baseball bat 40 metres from her Taupo flat in January 2008.

Ms Aim, who had been working in Taupo, was walking home alone about 2am after socialising with friends when she was attacked. She died of massive head injuries in Taupo Hospital.

A year later Broughton admitted the murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 12 1/2 years.

Dr Bain reserved his findings but intimated his report would be critical of Broughton being allowed to roam alone late at night, unsupervised by his family.

"This is a dreadful and absolutely shocking case," he said. "That Karen Aim had felt safe enough to walk alone and then be attacked near her home, and treated with indignities by a young man, is just awful and sends an awful message overseas of New Zealand."

The high rate of violent youth offending, the fourth worst in the developed world, was a result of poor supervision by parents, he said.

"There is an impressive list of police and other agencies committed to trying to stem the flow of this offending, but at the bottom of it all is the lack of parental supervision. It has completely failed in this case."

He questioned whether Broughton had been under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time. "No rational, normal person could have done this without being away with the fairies or on something."

Broughton had been under surveillance by police the day after the murder when search warrants were issued and Ms Aim's digital camera, a bloodstained baseball bat, bicycle, and charred remains of her handbag were found at a house where he was living with his grandparents.

He was later charged with a serious attack on another young woman, which police were investigating at the time of Ms Aim's death. Broughton's mother, Eugenie, declined to comment on the inquest yesterday.

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- The Dominion Post

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