Boy, 13, tells police: I shot her

LYN HUMPHREYS
Last updated 05:00 16/08/2012

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A 13-year-old boy accused of murdering the partner of his step-grandfather told police that he had shot her, court documents reveal.

But the boy, who will stand trial in November, has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Court committal papers outlining events at a rural Urenui home on the afternoon of April 15 were released to the Taranaki Daily News yesterday.

Earlier, in the High Court at New Plymouth, the boy pleaded not guilty to the murder of the 50-year-old woman whom he had known for about three years.

His trial is set down for November 19.

The committal papers describe how the boy shot the woman in the back of the head with a .22 as she sat at the dining room table doing a jigsaw puzzle.

He then dragged her body into her bedroom and ransacked his grandfather's bedroom. The boy took $16 and a carved necklace and drove the woman's white Ford Telstar into Waitara. When pulled over by police a short time later, he gave himself up without a struggle, the papers say.

In the videoed police interview that followed his arrest the boy admits to shooting the woman.

The man came home about 3pm from shifting stock to find a trail of blood leading to his partner's bedroom, the papers say.

Seeing the .22 rifle on the floor near the table and finding his partner lying on her back on her bed with a bleeding wound at the base of her skull he realised what happened.

The man first contacted emergency services then tried administering first aid and resuscitating his partner.

Emergency services contacted his neighbours who came to his aid.

In the videoed police interview and in the company of his lawyer Patrick Mooney the boy initially said he could not remember what happened until police stopped him.

"He maintained he was going to the police in Waitara because he felt like he had done something wrong but didn't know what it was."

Later in the interview he admitted he shot and killed the woman.

During the police interview, the boy said he had a good relationship with his granddad.

He enjoyed farm life, hunting, fishing and helping him with the cows.

However he did not get on so well with his granddad's partner whom he had know for about three years.

She grounded him and didn't allow him to see his mother in the school holidays, making him feel "pretty sad".

The boy is being held in a secure youth justice facility in Rotorua.

Apart from lawyers and court staff, the only people in court were three members of the family of the dead woman, and the boy's father and step-mother.

Defence lawyer Kylie Pascoe asked Justice David Collins for interim name suppression to be continued and the United Nations Convention for the Rights of the Child be adopted.

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Crown solicitor Cherie Clarke said the Crown acknowledged the age of the defendant however the family of the dead woman asked that name suppressions be lifted.

Judge Collins told the family he appreciated their desire for suppression to be lifted but there were special circumstances in the case.

He ruled that suppression continue for both the boy and that of the dead woman in order to allow a fair trial and until a verdict was delivered.

"There is a discernible risk that allowing publication will compromise the fairness of his impending trial."

- Taranaki Daily News

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