THE BOYFRIEND of a former Whitby Community College student who went missing last year in New Zealand, has confessed to her murder.
Last Friday, Brad Callaghan admitted murdering his former girlfriend Carmen Thomas, whose dismembered body was found buried in concrete in the Waitakere Ranges of New Zealand last year.
In a shock move, Callaghan changed his not guilty plea to guilty in a hearing at the High Court in Auckland.
The 33-year-old structural engineer was arrested in September last year, three months after Thomas, the mother of their six-year-old son, disappeared.
Court documents released earlier this year revealed Mr Callaghan killed Carmen on 29 June at her home in Remeura, near Auckland.
She died after several blows to the head.
It also said Callaghan then bought a meat cleaver, cut her body into eight pieces, put them in plastic bins, covered the body parts in concrete, and buried them in the Waitakere Ranges west of Auckland where they were found on 1 October.
Investigation head inspector Mark Benefield said that the case had been tough and emotional for police, adding: “We have empathy for our victims. “We have a boy that has lost his father and mother, a mother that has lost her son, a mother that has lost her daughter.
“I’m a father and prick me do I not bleed, I’m human.”
Crown prosecutor Simon Moore said the change in plea was a “significant development” but that it was not “particularly unexpected, as these things never come out of the blue”.
He said it was important to remember “this is very important for Carmen Thomas’s family”.
Defence counsel Stuart Grieve QC said outside court: “Mr Callaghan is an intelligent young man who has had the courage to take responsibility for his actions in this tragic saga and he has pleaded guilty to the two charges today which include murder.
“That’s a significant step for him to take and he has taken it responsibly.”
Moore said it was helpful for everyone to not have to go through a trial.
“It saves an enormous amount of time and money and as a result of pleading guilty, Mr Callaghan saved the state and community a great deal of time and money.”
Carmen’s mother, Teresa Scott, said she had no comment about the plea.