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Paul Tainui’s first victim believed she would be killed, Coroner’s Court hears

Paul Tainui aka Paul Wilson

Gary and Nancy Schroder found it gruelling having to make submissions about their daughter’s killer, Paul Tainui, each year, the Coroners Court has been told.
Photo: Supplied / NZ Herald

A mother has recounted how her daughter told her it was only a matter of time before her ex-partner killed her.

Twenty-one-year-old Kimberley Schroder was raped and murdered by Paul Tainui, then Paul Russell Wilson, in Hokitika in 1994.

Nicole Tuxford

Nicole Tuxford.
Photo: Supplied

More than 20 years later, while on life parole for her murder in 2018, he struck again, raping and murdering Nicole Tuxford, who was 27, in her Christchurch home.

Shortly after hearing of Tuxford’s murder, Kimberley’s father Gary Schroder, died in a suspected suicide.

His death and Tuxford’s are at the centre of an ongoing inquest in Christchurch.

In a statement of evidence given to the Coroner, her mother, Nancy Schroder, said Kimberley pre-empted her own death.

“One day, Kimmy told me she thought she was going to die, that it was just a matter of time.

“She started applying for jobs outside of Hokitika so she could get away from [Tainui]. After Kimmy died, we received a letter to say that she had been accepted to become a prison guard [she thought this was the one place where he couldn’t stalk her],” Nancy Schroder wrote.

Tainui had tried to kill Kimberley Schroder once before – walking into a local pub with a loaded shotgun and assaulting her.

He was overpowered by other customers and served time in prison for the crime.

Nancy Schroder said at the time, his actions were out of character and she put it down to his shock at their relationship ending after a few years together.

She and her husband even took him in the first night he came out of prison, however, those feelings soon evaporated after they learnt of his behaviour over the following months.

“He had tried to strangle her, shoot her, stalked her, crept around her home at night then eventually tortured and killed her.”

Tainui was sentenced to life imprisonment for Kimberley Schroder’s murder, but there was insufficient evidence to charge him for her rape.

While on trial in Greymouth High Court in 1994, he said he slept with her prior to her murder and claimed it was consensual.

“We still cannot understand why he was not convicted for tying Kim up, slashing and raping her. How many people consent to sex after being tied up and slashed [across the hands with a machete]?” the Schroder family wrote in a statement to the Parole Board in 2008.

Tainui served 13 years of a life sentence. He was denied parole three times before being released in January 2011.

The Schroder family wrote submissions for each of the Parole Board hearings Tainui had, despite the intense turmoil it caused them each year.

“We don’t sleep and get very stressed and depressed [each time there’s a hearing],” Nancy Schroder wrote.

She believed if Tainui had committed such a brutal crime once before, there was nothing to stop him doing it again.

“We find this very disturbing that a person with these capabilities could be out amongst the community where people have no idea what sort of monster he really is.

“We should not have to live the rest of our lives in fear of him and his whereabouts,” she and her late husband, Gary, wrote in 2009.

In a cruel twist of fate, the Schroders themselves foresaw a murder, just as their daughter had done years prior.

“He obviously cannot handle rejection and will definitely kill again when next faced with a similar situation,” they wrote.

Parole Board wary of how inmate would handle ‘relationship difficulties’

The Parole Board’s reports described the murder as “sinister and brutal”.

In its 2009 findings, the board stated: “If any further offending were to occur, [it] would most likely be in the context of relationship difficulties leading to an escalation in his attempts to influence or control his partner”.

The board went on to say it did not believe Tainui was safe enough to be released at that time.

“This has to do with many factors including the appalling nature of his offending, the impact of it on his victims and whether he has learnt the lessons and made the changes asked of him.”

Finally, the report said: “In our view the risk of making an error is too great.”

The Coroner’s Court has heard this week Nicole Tuxford’s 2018 murder was almost identical to Schroder’s.

The scope of the inquest includes Tainui’s release from prison, his management while on parole and his time in prison.

It is expected to conclude next week.

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