Ashburton shooting victim Peg Noble 'saved my life'

'PEG SAVED ME': David O'Connor, 27, says Peg Noble saved his life at a time when he was ready to jump off a bridge.
'PEG SAVED ME': David O'Connor, 27, says Peg Noble saved his life at a time when he was ready to jump off a bridge.

Formerly homeless man David O'Connor says slain Work and Income worker Peg Noble saved his life more than once.

The Ashburton ACC beneficiary has recalled the woman who helped him through a bad patch in 2004 when he was living on the streets.

As O'Connor, 27, wrote a message in a condolences book at the Ashburton District Council, he said he had lost everything and had been living rough before Victim Support staff took him to see Peg Noble at Work and Income.

They had found him asleep in the Ashburton library.

"Peg saved my life. I was ready to jump off the Tinwald bridge. Living on the street is hard in the middle of winter and I was hungry and cold. She found me accommodation, got me a food grant and a clothes grant.''

At the time Noble was manager of emergency grants in Ashburton, O'Connor said.

"She bent over backwards to help me. Within a couple of weeks I was back on my feet.''

They had remained in touch over the years and would stop and chat when they saw each other in the street, he said.

"She would ask what I was doing. She understood my health condition (heart/lung problem COPD) because she had a bit of it herself.''

Nicky Durie, who was also leaving a message in the book, she had dealt with Noble and Leigh Cleveland only briefly but they were "lovely''.

"They will be missed by a whole lot of people here.''                                                

Cleveland had told her she had had death threats in the past, Durie said.

The Press