Jessica Boyce’s disappearance is being treated as a homicide by police. Photo: Supplied.

Family share victim’s photo to shame killer

The family of missing woman Jessica Boyce want people to share her photo on social media to help shame her killer into coming forward.

Jessica’s cousin Aaron Goodwin has posted a new profile pic of the smiling Renwick woman, who disappeared on March 19.

He urged people to share the photo in the hope it would prick someone’s conscience.

In the post he says how he hopes the post would propel people to come forward.

“Beautiful Jess. Keeping her as my profile photo in solidarity with investigators and everyone else trying to get justice for Jess.

“Hopefully seeing Jess everywhere might break the conscience of whoever is involved and propel them to come forward.

“Anything’s worth a shot, eh? If anyone else wants to do this, even just for 48hrs it would be really cool to her smiling face everywhere,” he wrote.

Possible forensic evidence relating to the homicide investigation has been seized by police from a Blenheim home.

Police working on the disappearance of Renwick woman Jessica Boyce, 27, searched a house on Warwick Street and another on Henderson Street last week.

Detective Senior Sergeant Ciaran Sloan says the occupant of the Warwick Street address was spoken to by police on Thursday, but no arrests have been made.

“A second warrant was executed at a Henderson Street address and samples of potential forensic value were seized.

“The investigation continues to receive information from the public and investigators are steadily working through inquiries that have been generated from that information,” he says.

Forensic scientists from crime scene specialist firm ESR assisted police at both addresses.

Jessica was last seen in a red Holden Rodeo ute in Renwick.

The ute was found three days later at the Lake Chalice car park in the Mount Richmond Forest Park but police bosses think it was left there deliberately to hinder the investigation.

Detective Senior Sergeant Sloan says enquiries are ongoing.

Tracey Phillips says it’s a “matter of time” before someone is injured near Girls’ College. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

Hundreds of school speeders stung in traffic operation

A recent speed sting has left Marlborough police “disappointed” with hundreds of drivers flouting road rules.

Almost 300 tickets were issued in four hours on Tuesday to motorists speeding past Marlborough Girls College on Nelson Street in Blenheim.

New Zealand Police Marlborough prevention manager senior sergeant Peter Payne says the result is “incredibly disappointing”.

“Even small increases in speed result in a much greater increase in your stopping distance,” Peter says.

“That can mean the difference between life and death for pedestrians, so it’s vital that drivers slow down around schools.”

Mother-of-two Tracey Phillips says it is “just a matter of time” before someone is seriously injured or killed outside the high school.

“I sit there every day waiting for my daughter and it makes me cringe how fast these vehicles go,” Tracey says.

“It’s a ridiculous, crazy situation and I don’t know why they can’t slow down; I think it’s getting worse too.”

Her concerns come as New Zealand Transport Authority reveal a planned pedestrian crossing controlled by traffic lights may be shelved.

NZTA Top of the South system manager Andrew James says the decision to combine both Marlborough Girls’ and Boys’ Colleges on the same site has delayed the promised crossing.

“Our funding and design was based on specific location and traffic movements, so the move of Boys’ College onto the Girls’ site adds a new layer of complexity,” Andrew says.

The ‘road policing operation’ on Tuesday saw 288 infringement notices issued on Nelson Street.

Marlborough police say they will continue to monitor traffic throughout November and will focus on safe driving around schools.

“Motorists need to be driving at a speed and in a manner that enables them to respond safely to the unexpected,” Peter says.

Appointed liquidator Brenton Hunt revealed creditors were unlikely to see any money back from defunct building company Rose Built Homes. Photo: Matt Brown.

Rose Built Homes used as ‘cash cow’

The bungling former owners of a defunct building firm may face criminal charges for fraud.

Rose Built Homes, which folded in September, has left Marlborough businesses out of pocket to the tune of $1.6 million.

Appointed liquidator Brenton Hunt revealed creditors were unlikely to see any money back, branding the case “one of the worst” he has seen in 25-years.

Treating the company as a “personal cash cow” could see former directors Ryan Butler and Kyle Payne in court, he says.

And the former directors have turned on each other, with Kyle blaming some of their dodgy dealings on his colleagues “gambling problems”.

The revelation comes amid rumours that Kyle has fled the country.

Brenton says he can’t stop Kyle from leaving the country.

“I can’t stop him travelling until I actually have judgement against him, and even then, a border alert would require details of his actual flight,” he says.

“Regardless…he can still be bankrupted here in New Zealand.”

Local contractors and businesses have been left high and dry, with one secured creditor owed more than $500,000.

Investigations uncovered a raft of costly personal purchases bought using company funds.

Boats, motorcycles and cars bought on finance were being paid from company accounts but registered to the young company directors.

But Brenton says he doubts any money will be paid out to any class of creditor.

“There were very few assets to be collected. Some office equipment and limited tools were collected from the office.

“The majority of these were returned to Christchurch and sold by Mainland Auctions, limited amount were sold to interested parties in Blenheim.”

“A number of creditors have raised jet skis as another asset, but I have never managed to locate any,” he says.

In addition, Kyle Payne traded a company asset, a Ford Mustang, on an Audi he recorded as his personally.

“The Audi still has a significant amount of finance over and above the trade-in value.”

Tax payments are “well behind” with no annual accounts ever produced.

Brenton says Kyle tried to blame the lack of tax payments on the company’s accountant, however, it is the director’s responsibility to file returns.

PAYE had not been paid since December 2018.

Kyle, in an interview with the liquidator, says he was not aware that non-payment of PAYE was a criminal offence.

“A huge amount of personal expenditure was coded in the company records as business expenditure and GST attempted to be claimed,” Brenton says.

“I have been working in insolvency for ten years, and as an accountant for over twenty-five years.

“Rarely have I seen company records in such a bad state.

“It has been very hard to work out anything form the records kept so I have had to go back to bank transactions.

GST had not been filed since March 2019 or paid since May 2018.

Brenton says Kyle had appeared to have committed “several items” of fraud and a creditor has offered to assist in filing a criminal complaint to police for fraud.

“Insurance records have been altered to allow customers to make drawdowns, customers have been asked to pay into bank accounts which are not company bank accounts and various customers and creditors have been lied to repeatedly,” he says.

“After recoding a lot of the expenditure which Kyle Payne had recorded as business expenditure but was paid to his own bank accounts, I have made a demand for $335,739.

“I have had no response to this demand so are now commencing judgement against him for this debt.”

Kyle sold his house, on Howick Rd, in September.

Brenton says Ryan was cooperative during the liquidation.

“He is apologetic for where everything has ended up and claims he never knew just how bad everything was.

“Regardless of his regrets he was a director and personally guaranteed several of the debts.”

Brenton says Ryan is looking into bankruptcy.

“As there has been very limited recovery from the company, I am funding a lot of the continued work for the liquidation myself.

He says the only asset of the company is the money which the directors had withdrawn in various ways.

“The likelihood of recovery of this for creditors is fairly remote so it is not anticipated any distribution for any class of creditor will happen.

“Regardless of this I will continue with my action against the director and see what comes out of it.”

Coralanne Child. Photo: Supplied.

Support for sex scandal school in wake of guilty pleas

Education bosses have pledged their ongoing support to a school stricken by an underage sex scandal.

Students at a Blenheim high school are a “top priority” say Ministry of Education staff after a former member of staff pleaded guilty to having sex with minors.

In the wake of her guilty pleas, acting deputy secretary, sector enablement and support Coralanne Child says support to those affected is ongoing.

“The safety and wellbeing of students is a top priority for us, as it is for boards of trustees, parents and whānau.

“In this case, we continue to offer our support to the school and its board as it moves past this challenging event,” she says.

The woman, who cannot be named, admitted seven counts of having sex with minors, and two of sending sexual images and video to minors, at the Blenheim District Court last week.

She was convicted and bailed for sentencing.

Her registration with the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand has been cancelled though she may be eligible to apply again.

A spokeswoman from the council says no formal hearing will be held though the former teacher will be told officially that she has been struck from the register.

“A person with a cancelled teacher registration is able to apply for registration again.

“However, if they have been convicted of a specified offence, they must first be granted an exemption by the Ministry of Social Development.

“Then the person may apply to the Teaching Council for registration and we review and consider if the person meets our registration requirements,” she says.

The school’s Board of Trustees welcomed the woman’s guilty pleas, saying it “ensures justice” for all those caught up in the case.

In a letter to parents, the chairman of the Board of Trustees says he hopes the move will “provide closure.”

“Her actions breached the trust of so many and it is appropriate that she has taken sole responsibility by pleading guilty,” he says.

He added that he hoped sentencing at the end of the year would allow people to move forward.

“I am very thankful that this matter will be concluded before the end of the year for the sake of our community, staff, parents and boys.“I would like to thank the police and all of the other agencies involved in this case for their diligence and their care during this very difficult time … and ensuring that this did not impact on the wider student body of our college,” he says.

But not everyone has been happy with the handling of the case, with one worried parent branding it “disgusting”.

The woman, who asked not to be named, says the scandal was felt by the wider community.

She says the guilty woman seemingly showed no remorse for her actions and was spotted at several public events, including junior rugby games.

“Talk about allowing her access to a smorgasbord of underage boys.

“I’m not comfortable with her being allowed to watch my boy play rugby and I know other parents feel the same.

“If this was a male teacher who was accused of having sex with underage girls- I highly doubt he would be allowed down the netball courts.

“Those poor boys and their families being made to look like fools by our justice system.”

The woman will appear for sentencing at Blenheim District Court on 17 December.

Max the cat was reported missing when someone tried to drown him. Photo: Supplied.

Blind cat saved from watery death

An elderly, blind cat has been reunited with his owner after being rescued just moments before being drowned.

Marlborough SPCA staff were tipped off by the public that someone was trying to drown 15-year-old tabby cat, Max.

His distraught owner had been searching for his beloved pet for a month and was reunited after staff at the Renwick centre swooped in to save him.

An SPCA spokeswoman says they took Max into their Foxes Island centre to care for him.

“Earlier this month, SPCA Renwick were called out to reports of a member of the public trying to drown a cat.

“SPCA took the cat in but were concerned about his overall health due to old age.

“A few days after the rescue, an SPCA employee noticed that the cat looked very much like one he had seen on a missing poster and on Facebook.

“Max is now back in his loving home, getting the care and attention he needs,” she says.

Centre staff now hope people will help raise money for other animals in need.

“Without the help of the public, a story like Max’s may not have ended so well.

“The SPCA rely on Kiwis for their donations to continue carrying out the fantastic work they do every day, in this case, it included rescuing Max, nursing him back to good health and reuniting him with his owner,” the spokeswoman says.

The SPCA’s latest fundraiser, the Great NZ Paws Walk takes place on 9 November and the Foxes Island centre urgently needs more people and pups on board.

Staff will be hosting a walk from 10am. Sign up via www.spca.nz/centre/renwick-centre.

Children’s toys and household rubbish, along with what should be beloved family pets are being discarded along the Port Underwood Rd. Photo: Supplied.

Sounds locals appalled by ‘ghastly’ dumping

Cruel pet owners have been ditching animals at a remote dump site – creating an illegal pet cemetery.

A concerned Port Underwood resident has discovered a dead dog with a gunshot wound as well as a cage of abandoned guinea pigs.

The woman, who asked not to be named for fear of reprisal, says the area has an “ongoing” illegal dumping problem.

Alongside children’s toys and household rubbish, what should be beloved family pets are being discarded, she says.

“It’s quite ghastly.

“It’s obviously a bach owner – they’ve just done a house up.

“There’s gib and wood panelling, but also pig skins and carcasses.

“Green waste is no biggy, but appliances, the big stuff, it’s costing us an arm and a leg.”

The dog was discovered last week amongst gib and other debris down a cliff from a skid site along the windy Port Underwood Road.

This follows the finding of a cage of black guinea pigs, some dead and some alive, found nearby a week earlier.

Police and the council have been contacted but claim there is nothing they can do.

“Police say they can’t do anything without a registration number.

“Council say it’s out of their jurisdiction,” she says.

“The locals want it to stop.

“It’s tragic to see the amount of people affected by the rubbish.”

A council spokesman says “flytipping” is a problem in the Marlborough Sounds “from time to time”.

“The council sympathises with landowners who suffer from flytipping, but the onus is usually on them to remove any rubbish dumped on

their property,” the spokesman says.

“The Council operates seven transfer stations throughout Marlborough and people are encouraged to take their waste there.”

The spokesman says council is trialling free tip days at transfer stations in an effort to reduce illegal dumping across the district.

“We will follow up with this landowner and see if we can assist,” he says.

The council spokesman says council have been trialling free dump days at the Picton Transfer Station and at Foxs Island in Renwick in a bid to clamp down on illegal dumping.

The free tipping excludes green waste and is limited to one vehicle load.

He says the trial will extend to the Blenheim Transfer Station before the end of the year.

Anyone with information about illegal dumping can call the council on 03 520 7400.

The spokesman says the council will prosecute offenders if they are caught.

The Blenheim Community Patrol group. Photo: Supplied.

Patrol recruits ready to hit the streets

Picton will soon see community patrollers walking the beat as a bid to help police officers pays off.

Six new recruits have volunteered with the Blenheim Community Patrol to help keep Picton safe as the summer seasons gets underway.

And with a new car on its way, the newbies should be out on patrol before Christmas.

Patrol coordinator and volunteer Moira Conroy says the team currently make regular rounds in Picton every couple of weeks on a Friday night.

The boost in numbers means the coastal town will soon have its own dedicated team, she says.

“Four people are currently going through the process and another two will begin soon.

“We could always do with more though, especially as volunteers will be doing walking patrols to cover cruise ship season.”

An extra patrol car is set to arrive from the Palmerston North branch of Community Patrol New Zealand.

“It’s great as it’s already kitted out,” Moira says.

Since it began in 2017, the patrol has been proactive in the community and all volunteers

Earlier this year volunteers spent a morning visiting the Southern Police Communications Centre where all 111 calls are taken.

“We were shown through the call centre where all the 111 emergency calls are received by extremely competent call takers and then dispatched to the relevant local police units.

“It was fair to say that we were very impressed and inspired with what we were shown and are in awe of the ability and professionalism displayed by the comms call centre staff,” Moira says.

The community patrol group will be holding a crime prevention event at Bunnings on 16 November.

Blenheim Community Patrol are running the fundraiser refitting number plates with special “anti-theft screws” for just $5 a vehicle.

Members of the community anti-crime group will be in the carpark from 10am until 2pm fitting number plates with anti-theft screws for a gold coin donation.

Police will also be there to engrave work tools.

For further information about becoming a volunteer with Blenheim Community Patrol visit email: [email protected]

Pensioner under police investigation

A Picton pensioner is being investigated for alleged inappropriate sexual behavior with two young boys he befriended.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is being investigated by police after a complaint was made from a worried member of the public.

He has denied any wrongdoing, saying the incident was a misunderstanding.

The boys, both members of a community group the man was involved with, are both under16-years-old.

The man is alleged to have asked to sleep in the same hotel room as the pair, but not the same bedroom, in his capacity as self-appointed youth liaison leader.

Yesterday, the mother of one of the boys, says their family had trusted the man.

She says the matter has affected the whole family.

“He’s a groomer. We put our trust in him and all the he was grooming our son behind closed doors.

“I had no understanding what a groomer was before this and now I know, that’s what he is,” she says.

A spokesman from the community group, who asked not to be named to protect the identity of the children involved, says police have been investigating the claims for six months.

“The parents and the children are both getting counselling, but all we keep hearing from the police are excuses,” he says.

Asked by the Marlborough Weekly about the claims, the man vehemently denied any wrongdoing.

“I told a boy who had a body odour problem that he had to pull back his foreskin to clean it properly,” he says.

The alleged offender, who says he was in the army for 8 years, claims he was told “not to come back” to the group where he had been a long-time member.

When the allegations first came to light, the group member was told he was no longer welcome.

A trespass notice means he cannot get in contact with the alleged victims.

“I hope I get a big apology, but I’m not sure I’d go back,” he said when approached about the claims.

The spokesman says the group had no choice but to remove the man from the group.

“When something like this happens, you either remove the children or the person who the claims are about.

“Alarm bells had been ringing for a while. Just little things that didn’t mean much on their own but when you add them all together give you something to be concerned about.

“The children and their parents have been through so much and deserve an end to this nightmare.

“They are the important ones in all this,” he says.

Subash Raizada must pay three former staff an ERA hearing has found. Photo: Supplied.

Restaurant boss’s wage cheat costs thousands

The owner of an Indian restaurant who tried to cheat staff out of wages has been ordered to pay them nearly $60,000.

Blenheim man Subash Raizada, 57, also known as Roger Raizada, owns Maharajah India Ltd.

Staff accused him of harassment and trying to pressure them to hand over money or risk their immigration status.

The Employment Relations Authority found in favour of three former employees, Vibha Sood, Kulijeet Kaur and Akshay Dame.

The announcement come as it was revealed the business was to be struck off the Register of Companies.

In his findings, chief of the Employment Relations Authority James Crichton says the company, of which Raizada was sole director, owed the trio money.

“I am satisfied that Maharaja India Limited owes a total sum of $59,390.47 in respect to minimum wages and holiday pay for the credit of three employees, namely Ms Vibha Sood, Ms Kuljeet Kaur and Mr Akshay Dame”.

Raizada’s son bought the Seymour St restaurant in 2015, changing it to Raizada Indian Restaurant.

An Employment Relations Authority (ERA) hearing in Blenheim in May was told how a labour inspectorate began an investigation in March 2015.

Staff claimed several incidents where they had been underpaid or not paid at all.

Kaur revealed she was told by Raizada that her visa was dependant on him and that she should pay him $35,000.

Dame did a week’s work with Raizada, as a trial. In a statement Raizada told him he would need to pay $35,000 if he wanted the manager’s position. Dame turned him down.

Raizada responded by saying the staff had never worked for him and accused them of fraud.

“But those stories simply are not credible,” Crighton says.

“Mr Raizada’s position appeared to be that none of these folk actually worked for the company and that the documents were simply structured to suggest that they had worked there.

“Ms Sood gave evidence that she had to pay back wages to the employer after she had been paid them.

“The evidence from Ms Sood’s bank account quite clearly supports her testimony that she was paid wages and then was required to rebate some of that payment either back to Mr Raizada or to another employee who then provided that sum to Mr Raizada,” he wrote.

Raizada was convicted in the Blenheim District Court on representative charges following guilty pleas to offences under the Immigration Act 2009 and the Crimes Act 1961 in February 2019.

He was ordered to pay $5000 to Kaur in part recompense of her managerial services and complete 80 hours of community service.

Former Junction Hotel owner Mike Pink. Photo: Supplied.

Bar boss pay out to “humiliated” manager

A humiliated part-time bar manager whose bosses told her she had a “superiority complex” has won a $28,606 payout.

Dawn Langdon told the Employment Relations Authority that her job at the Junction Hotel left her “so stressed” she was forced to resign.

Owner Mike Pink was ordered to pay compensation of $18,000 plus additional costs including reimbursement of lost wages, holiday pay and Kiwisaver contributions.

An Employment Relations Authority (ERA) decision released last week by authority Helen Doyle found in favour of Dawn.

She ruled the Marlborough woman was “unjustifiably constructively dismissed and unjustifiably disadvantaged.”

“Mike Pink is ordered to pay to Dawn Langdon the sum of $18,000 without deduction being compensation for humiliation, loss of dignity and injury to feelings.

“There were other actions by Mr Pink in breach of good faith obligations that seriously damaged the employment relationship,” she says in her findings.

The findings come after Mike told the tribunal hearing that the Junction Hotel was owned by a company and not himself personally.

The ERA could find no evidence of that, they said.

Dawn worked at the pub, which has since been sold, from 1 August 2017 to 4 March 2018. She was paid $16 gross per hour.

She told Mike about worries she had concerning bullying behaviour directed at her but says she was made to feel like she was the cause of the problem.

In response to what he called a “tirade” of emails about the situation, Mike told his unhappy employee that she owed him $500.

“In view of the constant e-mails, personal meetings and other contacts you have bombarded me with since you commenced employment with us … I feel it only fair that I should be recompensed for the time wasted unnecessarily.

“I have had to spend hours in replying to your tirades which has kept me away from doing my normal work and as I am partially incapacitated at present, I find this totally unacceptable.

“I think that a figure of $500 is fair and I expect to receive this within 7 days,” he wrote.

Mike also claimed he had lost customers and in one case a company has “discontinued to lodge and eat here” with a loss of up to $1000 per week.

Langdon resigned on the grounds that her employer had breached his duty.

She later said at an ERA investigation meeting in Blenheim on 23 May that Pink made her feel like a “complete failure”.

“I am extremely upset and humiliated over the way I have been treated, when measured against the commitment and loyalty I have shown your business during my employment,” she wrote.

Mike and wife Hazel have sent bought the Wave Café and Courtyard in Picton.