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Cold case murder trial: Yong mum signed deal with alleged killer weeks before murder

Author
Kurt Bayer,
Publish Date
Wed, 3 May 2023, 1:25PM
 Photo / Supplied
Photo / Supplied

Cold case murder trial: Yong mum signed deal with alleged killer weeks before murder

Author
Kurt Bayer,
Publish Date
Wed, 3 May 2023, 1:25PM

Young mum Angela Blackmoore happily signed a property document with a debt collector now standing trial for her 1995 murder, a court heard today.

However, her fiancé held concerns that she was illiterate while her future mother-in-law told police of her “shock” at finding David Hawken, an alleged associate of the Templars MC gang, inside her living room with a briefcase and papers just weeks before Blackmoore’s grisly killing.

Details of the arrangement have emerged this week at the High Court in Christchurch where Hawken, 50, and ex-stripper Rebecca Wright-Meldrum, 51, are standing trial for the August 17, 1995 murder.

They both deny any part in Blackmoore’s death and have pleaded not guilty.

For 25 years the case went unsolved before police suddenly received fresh information and Jeremy Crinis James Powell was arrested and later jailed for at least 10 years for bludgeoning and stabbing Blackmoore 39 times.

The Crown, which outlined its case against the pair yesterday, alleges that Hawken ordered Powell to carry out the hit, offering a contract of $10,000, while Wright-Meldrum, a close friend and ex-lover of the safety-conscious Blackmoore, helped him gain entry to her house.

David Hawken and Rebecca Wright-Meldrum both deny murder and are standing trial at the High Court in Christchurch. Photo / George Heard

David Hawken and Rebecca Wright-Meldrum both deny murder and are standing trial at the High Court in Christchurch. Photo / George Heard

It’s been alleged that Hawken wanted Blackmoore out of the way so he could profit from a property deal.

Today, Blackmoore’s partner Laurie Anderson, who came home late from work to find her bloodied and lifeless body, spoke of his concern that she had signed a document with Hawken.

The court heard that Hawken, who was living and running his business out of a Cashel St property owned by Blackmoore and her estranged husband William Blackmoore, had visited her a month earlier at her Vancouver Crescent home.

A document giving authority to sell another property the pair owned at Ferry Rd, which had been prepared by a local real estate agency and was dated July 7, 1995, with a valuation of about $21,000, had been signed by Blackmoore.

When shown the document, Anderson accepted it was her signature and said that she had told him she was “happy” with the meeting with Hawken – someone he had never met.

“She did not complain about being forced into this, no,” Anderson told the court.

But although Blackmoore was “street smart”, he was worried over her ability to understand what she was signing – and that she wasn’t given a copy.

Under questioning by Hawken’s defence counsel Anne Stevens KC, however, Anderson accepted that Blackmoore had asked that a copy went to her lawyer.

Laurie Anderson arrives at court. Photo / George Heard

Laurie Anderson arrives at court. Photo / George Heard

Anderson said his new fiancé, who he had started a relationship with in January 1995, had wanted to clear her debts, and the money from the property’s sale would help her start a new life.

His understanding was that Hawken, who had been making mortgage payments because the Blackmoores had been unable to, had wanted the Ferry Rd section sold so he didn’t have to pour more money into it.

The Crown allege that from “early on” Hawken had an eye on the financial benefit of the two properties, wanting to use them and his own assets to secure loans for future business ventures, including a multimillion-dollar property development at Moncks Spur, Redcliffs, while also looking to set up a telecommunications business.

Andersons’ mother Mary, who has since died, said she spoke often with Blackmoore, recalled popping around to visit her at Vancouver St one afternoon and saw Hawken and Blackmoore sitting in the lounge.

Hawken had a briefcase open and papers around him, she told police.

“I wondered what the hell he was doing there,” she said.

“I just got such a shock seeing her there.”

A boarder told her that Blackmoore was signing papers to sell the Ferry Rd section.

Two days later, Mary Anderson warned her not to sign anything especially given that she couldn’t read.

“I hope you know what you are doing,” she told her.

A massive police investigation - Operation Vancouver - was launched after Blackmoore’s murder.

Both Hawken and Wright-Meldrum were interviewed at the time but denied any involvement.

The case went unsolved for more than two decades before Powell was arrested in 2019 after police offered a then-record $100,000 reward.

Wright-Meldrum’s defence counsel Stephanie Grieve KC suggested to the jury earlier that the key issue for them was whether Powell is “credible and reliable” when he says Wright-Meldrum was with him when he murdered Blackmoore.

Anne Stevens KC, defence counsel for Hawken, said he had nothing to do with Blackmoore’s murder and that he had “no wish that she die”.

Hawken had no motive, no money, and no power to order a murder, his defence team say.

The four-week trial before Justice Cameron Mander continues.

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