Time Waits For No Man

02.03.2018

tags: Homicide, NSW, Western Australia,

discussion: 0 comments

By Charles Fountain

From the March 2018 issue of the APJ.

This article is in memory of Felicity Jane Park, a policewoman,who was savagely beaten and burnt to death at the hands of her boyfriend, 29-year-old Auckland (NZ) born Talatofio Samoa Selu Lealiifano, on Sunday 2 March 2003.

There are no twists or turns in this narrative. It is written as an example of the instant preparedness by police in Australia to respond to a homicide. The article profiles the response of the NSW Police Force Homicide Squad, but it truly reflects how any similar squad in Australia would respond. We found out very shortly after our response that this crime was very different to most callouts police will get in their career for a number ofreasons:

1. This homicide had occurred only hour’s prior but was committed thousands of kilometres away in Western Australia

2. At the time NSW Police wereinformed of thecrime, the offender was mid-flight between Perth and Sydney, attempting to flee the country back to New Zealand 

3. Evidence of the crime was coming to the arresting police during the interview of the offender from another police force thousands of kilometres away; and

4. It concerned the (off-duty) murder of a young policewoman.

THE VICTIM

Felicity Jane Park was a 22-year-oldnative of Oamaru on the South Island of New Zealand and moved to Australia with her parents when she was two. She joined the Western Australian Police in June 2001 and graduated in December that year. Felicity’s family revealed she had always wanted to join the police and had served at the Perth suburban police station of Mirrabooka in traffic duties as a probationary constable.

She and Lealiifano were living at 20 Waterford Drive, Hillarys, a northern coastal suburb of Perth, in the local government area of Joondalup, the Aboriginal word for glistening. The suburb was named after World War 1 veteran Bert Hillary, who had become blind in his right eye while serving in the Gallipoli campaign. Neighbours informed investigating police that the couple has been in Hillarys for around four months and seemed quite happy. This domestic bliss was shattered in the early hours of that fateful Sunday when police were told they were seen and heard arguing outside their home.

This was the last time Felicity Park was heard alive.

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