Duo convicted for British man’s death

A man and a woman were found guilty by the National Court today for the willful murder of British man John Hulse in 2011 in Port Moresby.

Deputy Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika found Taita Prichard and James Paru guilty for planning and willfully murdering Hohn Hulse at Napanapa outside Port Moresby.

Prichard is a Papua New Guinean who is a naturalised Australian citizen.

The incident took place on 24 July 2011. Prichard and Hulse were intimately involved since 2008 and the court found she planned with the intention to cause grievous bodily harm to Hulse when she found out he was seeing another woman.

On that day, Prichard drove Paru to Napanapa after Paru told Hulse to meet him there and collect his passport.

But before that, Paru had gone to Sabama to buy bullets for his gun.

Records from Digicel that were presented in court showed history to text messages exchanged between Paru and Hulse.

Prichard then drove Paru to Napanapa. After dropping Paru, she drove off. Hulse later arrived at the scene. Both men had guns on them.

The court heard that Paru, who was a former military personnel, told Hulse to turn around and shot him.

He later drove off in Hulse’s vehicle and abandoned it at Coco outside Port Moresby.

 “Why plan it there for a simple handover of passport? Napanapa is an isolated place. There was obviously an arrangement to get rid of John,” said Sir Gibbs.

Sir Gibbs said Paru being a relative of Prichard was loyal to her so she used his loyalty to kill Hulse after she found out about his new Cambodian girlfriend.

He said Prichard had invested a lot of money in Hulse setting up his business and she would have lost a lot in monetary value with Hulse now having a Cambodian girlfriend.  

The duo will return to court on November 26 where they will be asked if they want to make a statement before the court. This will happen before lawyers of the State present submissions on their appropriate sentence.

They were refused an application for verbal bail after their conviction.

Sally Pokiton