Angry scenes before death

JOELLE DALLY AND BLAIR ENSOR
Last updated 05:00 29/04/2014
bryndwr murder
DANIEL TOBIN
HUNT FOR EVIDENCE: Forensics staff at the Christchurch house where a young 22-year-old woman allegedly murdered a man she knew.

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Police were regular visitors to a Christchurch home where a young woman allegedly murdered a man she knew.

Neighbours witnessed a "domestic" at the property two nights before the killing, where an angry man pulled up to the house and yelled profanities inside.

So when six armed police officers arrived at the Bryndwr property and knocked on the door about 4pm on Sunday, it seemed like nothing out of the ordinary.

Nearby residents were shocked to learn a man was dead inside the house and a 22-year-old woman had been charged with his murder.

The woman appeared in the Christchurch District Court yesterday. She was on bail for theft and breaching community detention at the time of the death, the court was told. Probation Services had applied to the courts to cancel her community detention sentence.

Judge Phillipa Cunningham granted the woman interim name suppression and remanded her in custody, without plea, to appear in the High Court in Christchurch on May 16.

Defence counsel Liz Bulger said she had concerns about the woman's mental health.

The judge also suppressed the name of the dead man.

The suburban property, which has children's toys strewn outside, was taped off yesterday while police carried out a scene examination.

Police said earlier that the man and the woman knew each other but would not be drawn on their connection.

Residents in the street told The Press that police regularly turned up at the house.

A neighbour said the "domestic" was between 9pm and midnight on Friday. A man turned up to the property in a silver car, shining the headlights on the front of the house, the neighbour said.

"Some guy got out of the car. He went in the front door, someone opened it. He told whoever it was in there to ‘get up, and get the f... out'. Then he came back outside, jumped in the car and drove off. He was only there 10 to 15 seconds. Then he just left."

Then on Saturday night, another car arrived at the house. "Someone was going through [the house] with a torch," he said.

Until recently, there had been people coming and going from the property all the time.

"It was like a little crash pad. It was like Hotel California sometimes."

However, lately the occupants were home only at night. The next day police would arrive at the house and no-one was home, he said.

The neighbour said it was a close-knit street.

"It's a bit sad this has happened."

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Another neighbour said half a dozen armed police pulled into the street quietly and knocked on the door of the house yesterday afternoon. One of them had a Taser drawn. Police often visited the home, she said.

The neighbour said she was shocked to learn someone had died at the house.

"She [the householder] is a really down-to-earth girl. She was trying really hard not to live a troubled life. I was worried someone had killed her."

The woman who lived at the house had split with her partner, "a real family man", about a month ago and "things went downhill from there".

Another neighbour described the woman who lived at the property as a "lovely mum" with "beautiful kids".

"They were such a happy family. A lovely couple. I'm just gutted."

She understood the woman had moved to Christchurch only recently.

"They came here to start a new life."

The neighbour was at work all day on Sunday and arrived home to cordons. She had to be escorted by police to her home.

Neighbour Angela Nelson said the woman who lived at the property and her children "did a little vanishing trip" about a month ago, but had recently returned.

"There has been a lot of goings on at night."

The woman's partner, or possibly her former partner, was "really helpful" when her own son had a medical episode, Nelson said. "I'm really hoping it's not him," she said of the dead man.

- The Press

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