20 Apr 2009

Trial begins of prostitute accused of Waitangi Day murder

7:15 pm on 20 April 2009

The trial of a prostitute accused of stabbing her estranged lover to death has begun in the High Court in Auckland.

Dionne Liza Neale, 39, is charged with the murder of Reece John Shadbolt, who was found dead in his Parnell apartment on Waitangi Day, 2007.

The Crown says Ms Neale and Mr Shadbolt first met in 2004 at a gentlemen's club, where she worked as an escort and prostitute.

They became involved in a romantic relationship for several years and Ms Neale helped him move into his flat in Parnell on 3 February 2007.

The Crown says that same night she plied him with alchohol in a bid to force him to confess to seeing prostitutes.

When he did confess, Ms Neale is said to have became very upset, leaving his flat and damaging his car by keying it and scratching the word "cheater" into its paint.

The Crown says she returned early in the morning on Waitangi Day, to commit what it describes as a "deliberate, brutal and senseless" attack, stabbing her victim nine times.

The trial is expected to last up to four weeks.