7.5.6 Parker, Pauline Yvonne

Pauline Parker's statements were taken in an upstairs bedroom at Ilam on the evening of June 22, 1954

Pauline Parker had been sent to bed by Hilda Hulme after having been bathed, fed and calmed down and, perhaps significantly, given a sedative by William Perry, under Hilda Hulme's care.

Pauline was interviewed a number of times that evening by Senior-Detective Macdonald Brown and Detective-Sergeant Tate. Herbert Rieper had earlier been persuaded to permit questioning of his daughter without the presence of counsel. He was not present when his daughter was questioned.

The first interrogation was held in the presence of Hilda Hulme. Senior-Detective Macdonald Brown presented the following testimony:

"Pauline Parker said she and her mother and Juliet Hulme were returning up the path at Victoria Park when her mother slipped and hit her head on a rock, or stone or something. She said Juliet Hulme was six or seven feet ahead, then came Pauline Parker and Mrs Parker last. She said her mother's head kept banging and they tried to lift her up but could not do so. She said she saw a half-brick lying there. When asked how she knew her mother was dead she said: "Blood. There was a lot of blood."

I asked her if she had seen a stocking there. She showed surprise then said: "We did not take mother's stockings off. I was not wearing stockings. I was wearing sockettes. I had a stocking with me in my bag and I wiped blood with it."

The second interrogation was made after having interrogated Juliet Hulme, separately, in another part of Ilam. Brown was alone this time. He testimony was:

I returned to the girl Parker and said: "We believe the girl Hulme was not present when the fatality occurred." She looked surprised. I then said: "You are suspected of the murder of your mother." She made no reply. I told her she need not say anything then, but she could make a statement if she wished. She said: "No. You ask me questions." I asked her questions and put them and her answers down as her statement."

Pauline Parker's official statement was:

"I am 16 years of age and an ex-pupil of the Christchurch Girls' High School. I left school about March of this year after passing into form 5S [sic]. I live with my parents at 31 Gloucester Street, Christchurch.

I have been informed that I am suspected of murdering my mother today. I have been informed that I am not obliged to say anything and that if I do it would be taken down in writing and used as evidence.

I do not wish to tell you what happened. You ask me questions.

Q: Who assaulted your mother?
A: I did.

Q: Why?
A: If you don't mind, I won't answer that question.

Q: When did you make up your mind to kill your mother?
A: A few days ago.

Q: Did you tell anyone you were going to do it?
A: No. My friend did not know anything about it. She was out of sight at the time. She had gone on ahead.

Q: What did your mother say when you struck her?
A: I would rather not answer that.

Q: How often did you hit her?
A: I don't know, but a great many times, I imagine.

Q: What did you use?
A: A half-brick inside the foot of a stocking. I took them with me for that purpose. I had the brick in my shoulder bag. I wish to state that Juliet did not know of my intentions and she did not see me strike my mother. I took the chance to strike my mother when Juliet was away. I still do not wish to say why I killed my mother.

Q: Did you tell Juliet that you killed your mother?
A: She knew nothing about it. As far as I know she believed what I told her, although she may have guessed what had happened, but I doubt it, as we were both so shaken that it probably did not occur to her.

Q: Why did Juliet tell the same story as you to the lady in the tea kiosk?
A: I think she simply copied what I said. She might have suspected what I had done and she would not have wished to believe it nor to have got me into trouble. As soon as I had started to strike my mother I regretted it but I could not stop then."

Senior-Detective Brown concluded his testimony:

We decided to take the girl Parker into custody. As we were leaving I said: "Where did you get the brick?" I had understood she had said she got it at Ilam. Mrs Hulme, who had been present at the interview, said: "No. She didn't get it here." The girl Parker said she took it from home.

Dr FO Bennett testified in court that Pauline Parker had the following to say to him, concerning her feelings toward Juliet Hulme:

PYP: "Juliet is not a friend, she is much closer."

Bennett: "Isn't that love?"

PYP: "I don't know. I care for her more than anyone else in the world."

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