Update: The trial of Steve Ellis is now underway, he is charged with arson (guilty) and is pleading not guilty to murder and rape. For more click here
The woman who was said to have died a violent death (said to be by stabbing) in Glenfield four days ago has been identified as 43-year-old Jacqueline Blackbourn, she’d emigrated from Britain about 20 years ago.
Her body was found when emergency services were called to a house fire on View Road, Glenfield, a suburb of North Shore City in the Auckland region. Her death has led to a homicide investigation being carried out.
The Herald says that Ms Blackbourn had recently split up with her partner, Steve Ellis. He was severely burned in the fire was found outside the property wearing only his underpants. Her former boyfriend, Karl Hawthorne, told reporters that Ms Blackbourn:
“worked in the accounts section of Harvey Norman at Wairau Park, was “the life of the party” and loved dancing, Mr Hawthorne said.
She missed her family, who were all overseas.
“She was really close to her mum,” he said. “There wouldn’t have been two days go by that she wasn’t in contact with her.”
Another friend, Margie Cardwell, described Ms Blackbourn as an “English rose”. “She was really feminine and girly, looked quite young for her age. She had a heart of gold.”
Ms Blackbourn’s brother, Tommaso Cerullo, yesterday left a heartfelt message for her on a social networking website.
“Rest in peace my darling sister. Love you and always will. You will never be forgotten in my heart or soul, miss you so much.
“To all the people that had the pleasure of having their heart lifted by her kindness and her smile, thank you for being there for her.”
Detective Senior Sergeant Kim Libby, of North Shore CIB, said police officers hoped to speak to Mr Ellis in the next couple of days.
His injuries were not life-threatening, he added.
They would continue combing the scene of the fire today. A post mortem examination has been carried out on Ms Blackbourn, but police have declined to reveal the cause of death, saying only that it was violent.”
Our deepest sympathies are extended to Jacqueline’s family and friends for their terrible loss, our thoughts are with you at this time and in the difficult days that lie ahead.
Background – “Woman’s ‘violent death’ in fire was homicide, say police” – “Police have launched a homicide investigation after a house fire in suburban Glenfield claimed a woman’s life on Saturday…” Herald article 28 June 2010
Update 14 July
A 28 year old man, who has been given interim name suppression, has appeared in court charged with injuring with intent to injure, assault with intent to injure, assault with a weapon and intentional damage. He has also been charged with historical offences that related to another female complainant. More here