Page last updated at 12:47 GMT, Thursday, 26 March 2009

Youth given life for Aim murder


Karen Aim's father gives his reaction

A New Zealand teenager has been jailed for life for the murder of a Scottish woman.

Jah che Broughton, 15, who admitted the murder of Karen Aim, from Orkney, is the youngest New Zealander to receive a life sentence.

Ms Aim, 26, died in hospital after she was attacked in the North Island resort of Taupo on 17 January, 2008.

At the High Court in Rotorua, Broughton was ordered to serve at least 12-and-a-half years in jail.

Karen Aim, a graduate in printed textiles from Dundee University, had been doing design work for Marks & Spencer before heading to New Zealand in 2006.

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

She returned home to save for a year-long trip to the country which began on 21 October 2007.

On the night of her murder she had been out with friends when her body was found by police called to investigate vandalism at a College in Taupo.

A post-mortem examination revealed she died of head injuries inflicted with a baseball bat which was later found under Broughton's house.

At a memorial service in Taupo in January 2008, Ms Aim's aunt, Violet Perfect, said she had "absolutely buzzed with life".

But that bright light had been "cruelly snuffed out", she said.

Her niece had died "in unimaginable terror and pain after being savagely beaten on a street corner".

Broughton was also sentenced to six years to be served concurrently for injuring a 17-year-old woman with intent to cause her grievous bodily harm.

This incident was unrelated to the murder of Ms Aim and took place two weeks before she was killed.

Karen Aim
Karen Aim was found unconscious in the street in January 2008

Ms Aim's parents, Brian and Peggy, from Holm in Orkney, travelled to New Zealand in February for proceedings against Broughton.

After the teenager's 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 will never know how much he has taken from us in one moment's madness."

He added: "He has taken away Karen's life. He has also destroyed his own life. Anger, revenge, would only destroy my own life and I do still feel sorry for him."

Mr Aim said he did not want New Zealand's reputation to suffer as a result, and would be returning as the family had made new friends there since Karen's death.

Broughton's family declined to comment.

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