7.5 Statements and testimony

Testimony in this section is taken principally from the Hearing and Inquest held in Magistrate's Court on Friday July 16, 1954.

This is because this is the 'freshest' version of events, and none of the witnesses had yet heard any of the statements of the others. Similarly, the public, though intrigued by rumours and the little that had been given in the press prior to this date, was largely ignorant of the details. However, the psychological testing had begun, and much of the interviewing by the defense team had been completed, so Hilda Hulme and Walter Perry were aware of the coming defense strategy; their testimony is interesting in the light of this perspective.

As is the public behaviour of Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme. Their actions and attitudes were widely reported, even in the conservative press, and did much to erode any public sympathy they may have otherwise generated. If it was a deliberate attempt to prepare the ground for the coming defense strategy, it backfired terribly. The Press (Christchurch), extremely sober, conservative and even-handed in its coverage of the whole matter, opened its story on July 17, 1954 with the sentence: "Showing no sign of emotion, Pauline Yvonne Parker, aged 16, and Juliet Marion Hulme, aged 15 years and nine months, left the dock in the Magistrate's Court at 5:25 p.m. yesterday after Mr Raymond Ferner, S.M., had committed them to the Supreme Court for trial on a joint charge of murdering Honora Mary Parker at Christchurch on June 22." Three paragraphs later: "Each accused girl was seated on a chair in a separate small dock in the middle of the Courtroom, the docks being pushed close together. After they were charged, counsel asked permission for them to be seated. While they were waiting for chairs to be brought, they leaned on the edges of the docks, facing the public and smiling and chatting. During the hearing they frequently smiled and whispered to each other."

There were no statements read into evidence nor testimony recorded from Dr Henry Hulme. He was not present at either the Hearing on July 16 or the trial in August.

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