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Why did Maxine Breakspear kill?

The Guardian August 16, 2005

Maxine Breakspear is in jail, serving time for a murder she committed at the age of just 18. But was the crime really as it was portrayed – an act of evil, conducted just for the thrill of it?

[...] Breakspear, along with co-defendant Rochelle Etherington, was
convicted last December of the murder of neighbour James Dalrymple.
Described by the investigating officer as a “ferocious attack, the likes of which I have never seen before”, it appears to be a motiveless and senseless murder. However, no one has asked what led an 18-year-old girl, with no previous convictions or reputation for violence, to commit such a brutal act.

6 Comments

  1. j. hansen wrote:

    I was the wife of james and the mother of his son. It was me who had to clean up the flat after the soco team had left. it is my son who is left with the memory of a lovely father who was butchered by two local girls who are well known for their threats, acts of violence and fear they instilled into the St. Johns estate.
    Why did they do it, how about drink, drugs and no morals whatsoever. it has not been widely stated that after the first attack, if anyone had called 999, james would be alive today. But that didnt suit maxine, she wanted him dead. Stop looking for sympathy stories when they are not there, why not concentrate on the victims.

    Posted on 22-Oct-05 at 1:00 pm | Permalink
  2. lisa wrote:

    I have been one of maxines school friends since we were 11 years old. she was always a loveing and careing friend never in troble and never violence was involved in all the time i have known her. when she moved away from the area to live with her mum we didint stay in touch that much when she moved. she did however get in with the wrong croud. a terrible thing happend and im sure she deeply regreats what happened that day

    Posted on 06-Mar-06 at 9:12 pm | Permalink
  3. leyla k wrote:

    maxine is my best friend to since from school im deeply shocked about this its so not like her she like sto fit in with a croud. rochelle has always benn a trouble maker

    Posted on 22-Mar-06 at 3:50 pm | Permalink
  4. dave b wrote:

    i was maxines boyfriend at the time, and i know that if she did not hang around with rochelle she would not have been dragged into this. maxine was a kind loving girl and from the moment i met rochelle i knew she was trouble. I am sorry that a man had to die but maxine was not a cold blooded killer she was just in with the wrong crowd.

    Posted on 03-Sep-06 at 10:59 am | Permalink
  5. No-Name (Sorry) wrote:

    Yeah I must say that it was shocking to hear that Maxine & Rochelle had been arrested for something like this. My heart goes out to James and family.

    I tend to believe that it all comes down to alcohol, and everything just escalated beyond anyone’s imagination.

    From what I remember of Maxine, she was always a nice and polite girl. The same also goes for Rochelle. They weren’t terrorists on St. John’s estate… They were just teenage girls.

    This was a crazy and disturbed night. Things obviously got out of control… And now both Maxine and Rochelle will have to live with this for the rest of their lives.

    The way things turn out is just crazy. From teenagers hanging-around outside the ‘Posty’, to behind prison doors for years to come.

    The sad thing is… Their lives are basically finished.
    At such a young age, they will (even by now) have conformed to prison-life, and before this incident happened, they were (believe it or not) such sweet girls. That is all gone now.

    Why were they running around, drunk and so very angry?
    Where were their parents? Why on an estate, where so many people were in and out of prison, hooked on drugs and where crime had been taking place, was there no support for these young people?

    St. John’s estate holds many dark-stories.

    Now, I think the entire place has been cleaned up.
    Alley-ways have been blocked up and I think now, the cameras actually work.

    Maxine and Rochelle used to hang around, and me and my friends would see them almost daily. From time to time, we would spend days and nights with these two girls.

    We got in to trouble from time to time… And maybe had some mouths on us, but in this day and age, who doesn’t? We would have seemed like ‘Thugs’ to some elderly and well-to-do people… But I can say, that never once did I ever see an evil or aggressive bone in either Maxine and Rochelle, the whole time I’ve known them.

    Regardless, I have no doubt that these girls feel remorse and are withstanding the psychological impact of all the pain, grief and misery they have caused.

    It’s absolutely mad, the way life can turn out.

    God bless James and may he rest forever-more.

    Posted on 30-Mar-11 at 1:31 am | Permalink
  6. Tracey wrote:

    Ive known maxine since i was 12 we use to be really good friends when she moved away we did loose contact but when i knew her wouldn even touch a cigarette let alone drugs! I was shocked when i heard this and still didn believe it till i read several articles she was always a sweet kind girl and always walked away at the sightof trouble never even picked a fight so i dnt for 1 second think shes a cold blooded killer just got in the wrong crowd and im sure if she wasnt on the drink or drugs she wudn have performed such an act

    Posted on 11-Jun-12 at 10:29 am | Permalink

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