Accused continues work as childcare worker

By Carolyne Meng-Yee

Manslaughter accused still working with children

Juliette Anne Gerbes leaving the Hastings courthouse. Photo / HBT
Juliette Anne Gerbes leaving the Hastings courthouse. Photo / HBT

A childcare worker accused of fatally stabbing her boyfriend continues to work with children while awaiting trial.

Juliette Anne Gerbes, 20, appeared in the Hastings District Court on January 22 and entered no plea to a charge of manslaughter following the death of 22-year-old Christopher Robin Jones on October 13.

Police found Jones at his King St South home in Hastings with serious injuries about 2am. He was taken to Hawke's Bay Hospital but died about 9am. Gerbes surrendered her passport to the court and was bailed to appear in March.

This week Gerbes told the Herald on Sunday: "I am working still ... at a childcare centre but my lawyer said there is no reason I should speak to you because there is nothing that would come out positive on my behalf."

Her father, Andy, said he was relieved his daughter had bail. "It is very hard for a girl to cope with - she is only 20 years old and a tiny wee thing to be facing this."

He said his daughter had told him what had happened and he supported her. "She is doing really well. I don't have much to tell you but Juliette will be ready to tell her story when she goes to court."

The father of four said the whole thing was hard for a dad to believe and it surprised him that his daughter was allowed to keep working. "Yeah, it does a bit ... but you know life goes on. Her friends have been very supportive but she is spending most of her time at home."

Detective Sergeant Warren Murdoch said Gerbes' charges were upgraded from assault to manslaughter on advice from Crown solicitors. "After they read the file they came back with that recommendation. At the end of the day they take it to court so we are acting on their recommendations."

He did not know whether Gerbes was continuing to work in childcare. "We are not concerned because we feel the general community is not at risk."

The general manager of education and training at in-home childcare agency Porse, Erin Maloney, said Gerbes graduated from its 20-week nanny intern programme last year.

- Herald on Sunday

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