New Zealander, 15, sentenced to life for Orkney woman's murder

Father of murdered woman says 'he has taken away Karen's life, but he has also destroyed his own'

A teenager from New Zealand has been sentenced to life imprisonment after confessing to the murder of a young backbacker from Orkney.

Jahche Broughton, 15, was ordered to serve at least 12-and-a-half years behind bars for the murder of Karen Aim on the North Island resort of Taupo on January 17 last year. He is thought to be the youngest person in New Zealand to receive a life sentence. His sentence yesterday in the High Court at Rotorua took into account his age and his guilty plea, the New Zealand Press Association reported. Broughton showed no emotion as he was sentenced.

Miss Aim, 26, from Orkney, was killed as she made her way home from a night out with friends. Miss Aim's father Brian told the court about the impact of her death, saying: "I would have been so proud to take Karen down the aisle in her wedding dress. Instead I took her down the aisle in her coffin." Speaking outside the court he said he felt sorry for Broughton: "He has taken away Karen's life, but he has also destroyed his own. If I go down the road of anger and revenge that would only destroy my life." Mr Aim, his wife Peggy and son Allan will return home to the Orkney Islands tomorrow.

Miss Aim was found by police who were called to investigate a vandalism incident at Taupo Nui a Tia College on January 17. She was taken to Taupo Hospital but died a short time later.

Broughton, who was 14 when he carried out the murder, was committed for trial following a hearing at Taupo youth court last September.

The court heard a police search of his home uncovered a camera similar to Miss Aim's, along with a black handbag in an incinerator and a baseball bat with blood and glass embedded in it under the house.

Broughton told police he spent the night of 16 January last year at home with his grandparents. On that day Miss Aim went out to socialise with friends and was attacked in the early hours of the following day on her way home. She was discovered lying semi-conscious in the street shortly after being filmed on CCTV visiting a garage.

A post-mortem examination confirmed she died of serious head injuries.


Jenny Percival and agencies

The GuardianTramp

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