'We've lost her - and why?' - Nicole Tuxford's mother

"We've lost her - and why?"

That's the question that Cherie Gillatt keeps asking herself after daughter Nicole Tuxford was raped murdered and tortured by Paul Russell Wilson.

"You can't bring back my Nicole, but by God, take a look at your system because it is failing - and it is failing everybody."

Cherie says a broken justice system let them down every step of the way.

Wilson had killed before - raping, torturing and cutting the throat of Kimberley Schroder on the West Coast in 1994, an identical crime.

Cherie says the first failure was the Parole Board - Wilson was let out of jail despite the Schroder family repeatedly telling them he would kill again.

"It makes me angry - the whole system is wrong."

Then she believes Corrections failed them while monitoring him while on probation. It failed to pick up he was dangerous, and helped him do things - like change his name to Paul Pounamu Tainui - to avoid his past.

"They are not there for you. They are there for that person who has taken - in my case - my Nicole. They are working for him. It's all about him, about his rights, what he wants."

And finally, she says police failed her daughter when they let him go from a drink-drive stop, despite knowing he was on parole for murder and seeing him with two butcher's knives.

"What's on record is that he'd killed before with knives. So what was he doing again with knives?"

Cherie has so many questions, but says she has been stalled every step of the way - fighting each department over each failure.

Asked what has kept her going, she says: "It's my Nicole. She kept me going. Because I owe it to her, to get justice for what happened to her.

"She didn't deserve what he did to her. Nobody should be going through this. And I just think about the person she was, and she was just awesome."


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