I forgive her killer, says backpacker's father

Life sentence for teenage New Zealander guilty of killing British tourist

The father of a British tourist murdered in New Zealand said yesterday that he felt "sorry" for his daughter's teenage killer, after the 15-year-old was given a life sentence.

Jahche Broughton was sentenced to life imprisonment and ordered to serve at least 12-and-a-half years behind bars for the murder of Karen Aim on 17 January last year.

Ms Aim, 26, from Orkney, was killed as she made her way home from a night out with friends in the popular North Island resort town of Taupo.

Broughton's sentence yesterday in the High Court at Rotorua took into account his age and his guilty plea. The teenager was 14 when he carried out the murder and is believed to be one of the youngest convicted criminals in New Zealand to be given a life sentence.

Outside the court, Ms Aim's father, Brian, said he felt sorry for Broughton. "He has taken away Karen's life, but he has also destroyed his own," said Mr Aim, 52. "If I go down the road of anger and revenge that would only destroy my life."

He added: "I am satisfied with the sentence and I believe justice has been done for Karen. I told the judge that he [Broughton] should never be put in a position where he could harm another human being.

"I would have been so proud to have taken Karen down the aisle in her wedding dress. But because of this boy's moment of madness I took her down the aisle in her coffin." Mr Aim talked to Broughton's mother last Friday but said he did not know if he believed that her son's motive was to get drugs money.

Mr Aim, his wife Peggy and son Allan will return home to the Orkney Islands today after travelling to New Zealand for the sentencing.

Ms Aim was found by police called to investigate a vandalism spree at Taupo Nui a Tia College in January. She was lying semi-conscious in the street and was able to tell police her name before she died in hospital. A post-mortem examination confirmed she died of serious head injuries which detectives believe were inflicted with a weapon.

The court heard that a police search of Broughton's home uncovered a camera similar to Ms 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 the killing at home with his grandparents. But his DNA was found on Ms Aim, and CCTV filmed him smashing nearby windows shortly before Ms Aim was attacked.

A trial was averted when Broughton pleaded guilty last month.

Ms Aim had been on her second visit to New Zealand after a three-month stay in 2006 and was working at a glass-blowing gallery. The Dundee University graduate had fallen in love with the North Island resort of Taupo – the town is popular for bungee-jumping and skydiving – telling family and friends "Taupo is the place for me", before returning. Her body arrived back in Orkney in late January 2008, after a 12,000-mile journey by air and sea. At her funeral, a video of her sky-diving was shown to the music of "Free Falling" by Tom Petty.

Justice Graham Lang told Broughton his crime had badly affected Taupo and New Zealand's reputation as a safe tourist destination.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Recruitment Genius: General Factory Operatives

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links