If the verdict is guilty either way, one aspect of the story hasn't been highlighted.
Joel Loffley was "on probation" after a previous assault charge. The ability to put him on probation was afforded by J J Lawrence's mother who provided a "bail address".
Only the Otago Daily Times has reported this detail:
Earlier, Loffley told police he met JJ's mother Josephine on a social networking website. He said she let him move in because he needed a bail address while he faced a charge of male assaults female. The charge related to an alleged assault on his ex-girlfriend.
Loffley had also been to prison earlier because he talked about not wanting to "go back to prison". In the main, only hardened types end up in prison in this country. Even J J 's real father James Ruhe, also in prison, knew of Loffley, knew he was "not to be trusted" because he was trying to get in touch with the mother about him. Judging by Loffley's admitted behaviour while on probation, he should have stayed there.
The number of murders in this country due to bad court decisions is deplorable. This may be another.