Page last updated at 07:22 GMT, Thursday, 5 February 2009

Boy, 15, admits backpacker murder


Ms Aim was found criticially injured 100 metres from her home and died soon afterwards in hospital

A 15-year-old boy has pleaded guilty to murdering Scottish backpacker Karen Aim in New Zealand last year.

Jah che Te Manawa Kaha Broughton, known as Shane, will reappear in court in Rotorua for sentencing on 6 March.

Ms Aim, 26, from Orkney, died from head injuries after being attacked with a baseball bat in the resort of Taupo, following a night out, in January 2008.

Her parents, who were in court, said she had been taken from them in "one moment's madness".

Brian and Peggy Aim had travelled to New Zealand expecting to sit through a month-long trial.

After the guilty plea, Mr Aim said: "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.

Jah che Te Manawa Kaha Broughton
Jah che Te Manawa Kaha Broughton admitted the murder

"Jah che will never know how much he has taken from us in one moment's madness."

Mr Aim said that the hearing had not been as traumatic as the moment the police came to the door of his house in Holm, Orkney, to tell him his daughter had been murdered.

The court hearing was the first time Mr Aim had seen the accused.

Mr Aim said: "I guess this is all part of the process of bearing up to what has happened - a process which will be with us for the rest of our life."

He said his daughter was "very bright" and "did so much in her 26 years".

"She was snatched from us far too soon and we have to live with that," he said.

He thanked the people of New Zealand for their support and said the murder could have happened anywhere in the world.

Broughton also pleaded guilty to a charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm in relation to a separate attack on a 17-year-old girl in Taupo 12 days earlier.

He was remanded in custody for sentencing.

Mr Aim said he intended to stay on for the sentencing.

Police search

Broughton was initially arrested in connection with a different attack, but two months later police got the breakthrough they needed to charge him with Miss Aim's murder.

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

Police said Broughton had beaten her with the bat near the Taupo Nui a Tia College after she had been on a night out.

Ms Aim was found only 100 metres from her home with critical head injuries and died soon afterwards in hospital.

She had been on her second visit to New Zealand after a three-month stay in 2006 and was working at a glass-blowing gallery in the resort town.

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