Darren Edward Charles Torrey
From NZ Herald report September 1997
The husband of the woman whose strangled and beaten body was found in the grounds of a Gisborne school appeared in court yesterday charged with her murder. Darren Edward Charles Torrey, aged 31, a mill worker of Gisborne, is charged with murdering mother of three Andrea Janine Torrey. Andrea Torrey's body was found in the grounds of Lytton High School on August 20.
From Dominion Post story 17 December 2003
A Gisborne man found guilty in 1998 of strangling his wife has failed in an attempt to reopen the case. It was not till last year that Darren Edward Charles Torrey tried to appeal against his conviction for murdering Andrea Torrey in August 1997. He was refused legal aid to hire a lawyer, and spoke for himself at a Court of Appeal hearing in October. In a decision issued yesterday, the Court of Appeal dismissed his case.
After the October hearing, a court-prompted query about a point Torrey had raised led to the Crown forwarding to the court a letter found in a search of a cell at Hawke's Bay Regional Prison. A prisoner with no connection to the case had apparently written and signed a letter in which he said he had overheard a conversation in jail about the killing of an unnamed woman. He connected the conversation with Mrs Torrey. The Court of Appeal said the conversation included allegations made against two men Torrey said police had seen near the school where his wife's body was found on the night she died.
Police had been given a copy of the inmate's letter but did not make any further inquiries. The inmate had not made any statement to police about the letter.At the court's request the Crown went through the police file looking for links between the men Torrey had said were near the school, and any involvement with Mrs Torrey's death. The court was told the names did not feature in the inquiry into the killing. Gisborne police also confirmed that. Torrey did not respond to the court's request for further submissions on the discovery of the letter but his mother wrote what the court said was a "detailed" submission. It considered what his mother said but did not find anything which helped Torrey's appeal.
Mrs Torrey was 28 when her body was found on a field at Lytton High School where she had worked as a cleaner. She had been hit heavily in the stomach and strangled. Her blood was found on her husband's clothes and in their car. Torrey told police that on the night his wife died he had prayed before having some cannabis oil. He said he often had cannabis before going to work, but said it was "a big no-no in the church". He then read his bible to repent for taking the cannabis oil. He had arrived late at the timber mill where he worked and left for about half an hour during his shift. Police said he would have had enough time to take his wife's body to the school and dump it on the field. Torrey is serving a life jail term.
Date of Birth
Murder of his wife in Gisborne in August 1997
Sentenced to life imprisonment in February 1998
Due to be considered for parole September 2007
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OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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