Murder victim's funeral in Hawke's Bay

By MORGAN TAIT

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The Hawke's Bay woman recovering from breast cancer and murdered in New South Wales by her Australian boyfriend will be buried at home in Napier tomorrow.

Napier woman Debara Martin, 43, was found dead at a house in northern New South Wales on May 4.

Her 24-year-old boyfriend, Adam John Kennedy, was charged with her murder.

A funeral for the new grandmother and mother-of-two will be held at the Napier Sailing Club in Ahuriri tomorrow morning, before she is laid to rest at the Western Hills Lawn Cemetery in Tamatea.

Ms Martin grew up in Hawke's Bay with her parents Ann and Roger Martin of Martin's Roofing and Aqua View Lodge Bed and Breakfast, and her three younger siblings, Melanie, Josephine and Bryan.

She attended Karamu High School and raised her children Ricky and Kimberly in the region. She recently became a grandmother to Ruby.

Two years ago Ms Martin moved to Coffs Harbour in New South Wales where she worked as a chef and was recovering from breast cancer.

Her family declined to comment to Hawke's Bay Today last night, but described her as a "devoted mother", "much loved eldest daughter" and "special big sister".

On Ms Martin's Facebook page, long-time friend Eve Whakatutu wrote: "I miss you so much Debs :( rest my sweet, will never forget you."

In earlier reports, she described Kennedy as Ms Martin's "toy boy" and said that the pair had recently split.

She said Ms Martin was a beautiful person who has been taken away in such a cold way, and would be remembered for her free-spirit and golden heart.

Another friend said Ms Martin was hard-working and had recently undergone reconstructive breast surgery.

Kennedy, a chef, failed a roadside breath test and was interviewed by police, who subsequently visited a Bowraville house.

Ms Martin's body was found at the address.

In addition to the murder charge, Kennedy was charged with drink-driving, driving while disqualified, escaping police custody, supplying a prohibited drug, possession of a prohibited drug, possession of an unauthorised firearm, not keeping a firearm safely, possession of unauthorised ammunition and dealing with the suspected proceeds of crime.

He appeared at Port Macquarie Local Court via video link, was denied bail, and will appear again on June 21.

Guests to tomorrow's service were invited to wear tokens of purple and donate to the Breast Cancer Society in Ms Martin's memory.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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