Alexander Grant Paulin
Otago Daily Times, October 1998 story here
49-year-old Alexander Grant Paulin, invalid beneficiary, had denied murdering Shona Claire Bruce in her Panmure Ave home on April 28. He acknowledged causing the death of Ms Bruce (42), by strangling her with a tea towel, but said he did not intend to kill. He said her continued verbal and emotional abuse provoked him into the attack which resulted in her death.
During a five-day trial, the jury of 10 women and two men heard evidence of Ms Bruce's alcoholism and her erratic and manipulative behaviour. They heard that Paulin moved out of her house two days before the killing but returned on April 28 to collect some property and went drinking with Ms Bruce.
When they came home in the evening, Ms Bruce began abusing him again, telling him he was worthless but that she still loved him. Paulin said he "flipped", picked up a tea towel and pulled it tight around her neck. When he realised she was dead, he removed a light bulb and tried unsuccessfully to electrocute himself. He then locked the house and drove to Oamaru, where he confessed.
Psychiatric evidence was that Paulin suffered from a schizotypal personality disorder characterised by severe social phobias. The jurors had to decide whether Paulin was guilty of murder or manslaughter. If they found he had the necessary murderous intent, they then had to consider provocation.
Date of Birth
Murder of Shona Claire Bruce in April 1998
Also drink driving
Sentenced to life imprisonment in October 1998
Due to be considered for parole May 2008
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OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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