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Coroner makes ruling on Diksy Jones' death

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News
By GayNZ.com Daily News staff - 9th February 2012

Diksy_Jones.jpg
Diksy Jones was killed in her Upper Hutt flat in 2009
A Coroner has confirmed Lower Hutt transwoman Diksy Jones died from blunt force trauma to the head, caused by the two men who are now in jail for her manslaughter.

Born Richard Milton Jones, Diksy Jones identified as a woman. The 64-year-old cabinet maker and smalltime cannabis dealer was brutally bashed by David Shaun Galloway (then 18) and Phillip Christopher Sanders (then 42) in his Upper Hutt home in April 2009.

Coroner Ian Smith has released his findings on the death, noting that Jones was of frail stature, being 162cm tall and weighing 50 kilograms. He agrees with the findings of forensic pathologist Dr Katherine White, who found Jones’ death was due to a blunt force trauma to the head.

Coroner Smith has offered his condolonces to Jones’ friends and family.

In sentencing, Justice Robert Dobson said the younger man’s part in the "brutal and tragic" attack constituted a hate crime, as Galloway had stated ‘a transvestite did not deserve to live’ and that he ‘believed in Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve’.

Galloway was initially sentenced to ten years jail with a minimum non-parole period of five years, but this was reduced to nine years jail with a non-parole period of four years on appeal in 2011.

Three Court of Appeal judges ruled that Justice Dobson "overstated the seriousness of the hate crime aspect of the homicide". They said Galloway was highly intoxicated at the time, had no hate crime history, was sexually abused as a child and had acted properly around a transvestite in prison. The judges also said the six month discount for Galloway's youth was too light.

Sanders was jailed for nine years and six months jail, and a non-parole period of four years and nine months.

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