The trial starts today of two teenage girls accused of the murder of retired school teacher John Rowe.
Mr Rowe was brutally battered to death whilst he was asleep in his Opotiki home in November of last year. Two girls – Courteney Churchwood, aged 17 and a 15 year old with name suppression were later arrested and a man was also charged with being an accessory.
We have previously mentioned Mr Rowe in other blog posts in connection with other recent crimes in the small eastern Bay of Plenty town of Opotiki, he is the second school teacher to be be battered to death in recent years. Lois Dear was sexually assaulted and murdered in her classroom at Tokoroa’s Strathmore Primary School in 2006.
23 year old Whetu Te Hiko pleaded guilty to her murder. He had 13 prior convictions, eight of which were for assaulting women and children in 10 months, from April 2004 to February 2005.His brother Hamuera, is also in jail for sexually violating and beating his wife to death in 2001.
Six days ago 70 year old Grandmother Barbara Catherine Julian was beaten to death in her Kaitaia home in broad daylight by an intruder. A 17 year old youth is presently remanded in custody.
It has to make you wonder what is happening to the fabric of New Zealand society when its most vulnerable citizens are beaten to death in their own homes and classrooms, places that most people should and would consider safe. What is sickening is that these crimes are being committed by young people, some of them multiple repeat offenders, it has to make one question if the methods used to address youth offending are working in New Zealand and if tougher measures are needed.
Other pensioners beaten to death or raped in their homes include:
- An elderly woman sexually and physically assaulted in her Eltham home in June. A 17 year old was later charged
- A grandmother killed “execution style” in Marton in 2005
Today’s posts – click here