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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 former Christchurch man Christopher Jones upgraded to manslaughter when she appeared in the Hastings District Court today.
She entered no plea.
It is alleged 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 stab wounds to his stomach.
Gerbes, a childcare worker, was quoted in a magazine last year saying she was a ''safe haven'' for children she cared for.
Jones' Christchurch stepfather, Carl Duxfield, said he and Jones' mother, Sharon, would fly to Hawke's Bay for court hearings.
"Someone needs to be there for Chris."
He said Jones had ''seemed happy'' with Gerbes.
The pair had taken the first flight from Christchurch to Hawke's Bay when they learnt of the alleged attack, 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 alleged incident occurred.
She has surrendered her passport to the court and will reappear in March.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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