Subtle Signs Key To Future Danger
A coroner is highlighting red flags women should watch out for to avoid being injured or killed by their partners.
The warning comes from Wellington coroner Mary-Anne Borrowdale in her March 18 2021 report on the deaths of Ngaire McKenzie and Murray Daley in June 2018.
The coroner found that Daley, 58, had killed Ngaire McKenzie, 61, and her dog at her Hawkes Bay Waipukurau home.
He committed suicide afterwards.
Ms McKenzie, who had two grown daughters, was described by those who knew her as kind, generous and apt to see past others’ faults.
The report details the couple’s relationship and Daley’s controlling and manipulative behaviours after they met on an online dating site in 2014 and he later moved in.
The relationship showed some subtle signs of abuse that indicated danger.
These included controlling behaviour, intimidation, threats to kill, intense jealousy or possessiveness and stalking, according to website www.areyouok.org.nz and listed in the coroner’s report.
The report found Daley was “needy, self-absorbed, repetitive and badgering, exacting and hectoring in his demands for response and reassurance, and jealous of Ms McKenzie’s relationships with others – including her pets”.
“These accounts of Mr Daley’s possessive and controlling attitude towards Ms McKenzie are borne out by the direct evidence that was available to me, particularly from the couple’s text messages,” the coroner said.
Ms McKenzie tried to end the relationship on numerous occasions, according to the report, but Daley always managed to woo her back with gifts, apologies and threats to kill himself.
Ms McKenzie and her family and friends “appear to have been unaware that Mr Daley had previously been violent towards women who were in close relationships with him,” the report said.
It said Daley was known to the police for domestic violence incidents in 1994 and 2006.
National Network of Family Violence Services/ Te Kupenga Whakaoti Mahi Patunga CEO Merran Lawler has commented on the findings.
“In this country, we tend to think about family violence as daily instances of bruises, black eyes, broken bones and police involvement.
“The reality is that it is often played out in the form of behaviours where any single instance may seem so minor or trivial that some people would not even consider them ‘violent’.
“Yet when amassed together those behaviours show an escalating pattern of intimidation and control of a victim by the abuser.”
Ms Lawler said the coroner’s report was a sobering read because it demonstrated how quickly an abuser’s ‘red flags’ of violence could escalate to murder.
“It remains a fundamental concern that we continue to expect women, their friends and family to be alert to those red flags rather than insisting men, whose behaviour gives rise to the red flags, recognise their violence and stop - or get help to stop,” she said.