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
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk