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Murdered Sex Worker Case Continues

Murdered prostitute erratic, client tells jury

CHRISTCHURCH 6 December 2005 - A Christchurch prostitute was erratic and appeared to have taken drugs just hours before she was strangled to death, a High Court jury heard today.

Prostitute Susie Sutherland also seemed in a hurry to "get the job done", one of her last clients said in evidence at the murder trial of Jule Patrick Burns in the High Court at Christchurch.

Burns, 30, denies murdering Ms Sutherland last April 16.

The Crown alleges Burns, a South African immigrant, engaged Ms Sutherland for sex but attacked her violently afterwards, leaving his DNA under her fingernails after she scratched him on his neck.

Ms Sutherland, a 36-year-old street walker and intravenous drug addict who regularly used morphine and ritalin, was left dumped among leaves and dirt in a vacant central city section where her body was found.

Giving evidence before Justice Lester Chisholm and a jury of seven men and five women today, a former client of Ms Sutherland told of having sex with her on the night of Friday April 15, just hours before she was killed. Corey Allan Boden told the court he had already picked up a prostitute earlier in the evening and had paid her $100 for full sex at a "safe house" near Christchurch's Manchester St red light area.

Mr Boden said after sex with that woman, he drove around the block "two or three times" before parking again in Manchester St.

"I saw a very attractive blonde-haired woman and I was interested in spending some time with her," he said.

He said he first spoke to Ms Sutherland about 40 to 45 minutes after leaving the first prostitute.

They talked about having sex and the various prices involved.

Mr Boden said he couldn't recall exactly what Ms Sutherland was wearing. "She had a skirt on and I was quite baffled as to how she was wearing such a thin, flimsy skirt when it was so cold."

Ms Sutherland, he said, suggested a safe house nearby where they could have sex, but asked him first if he would do her a favour and take her to a dairy.

Mr Boden told crown prosecutor Philip Shamy that Ms Sutherland, at that stage, was "very friendly, but professional at the same time".

He said he asked Ms Sutherland if she wanted to share some cannabis, but she wasn't interested.

"She said something like "I need the business honey"... she needed the money."

Ms Sutherland told him she would make it worth his while for detouring to the dairy and would "do me twice" for $100. Mr Boden said at the house they went to Ms Sutherland told him she would freshen up and return in five minutes.

When she came back "closer to 20 minutes later" her attitude had changed.

"When she returned after freshening up, her eyes I noticed, were dilated and she was erratic," Mr Boden said. "She just wanted to get it over with." He said he noticed she had a brown liquid substance tricking down her neck and when he mentioned this Ms Sutherland "left the room straight away".

She was gone "roughly five minutes" and still appeared to be in a hurry. Mr Boden said he was "well and truly" having second thoughts about sex with her "even though I'd paid her $100".

However, he said they had sex and he used a condom provided by Ms Sutherland.

During sex she "told me to hurry up", he said. Afterwards "she got up straight away and virtually ran to the shower".

Mr Boden said he hesitated to leave "because she told me she'd do me twice".

He said that in spite of having smoked cannabis earlier in the evening he was "stoned but coherent".

To defence counsel Rupert Glover, Mr Boden said had had been convinced when Ms Sutherland left him in the bedroom that she had gone for a "fix or something".

He agreed he had told police earlier that Ms Sutherland seemed "skittery".

The case continues.

News Item from the New Zealand Herald, 6 December 2005 Link to full story by New Zealand Herald