ON Sunday a friendly, kind-hearted, fun-loving woman was murdered by vicious, covetous cowards for a cellphone.
Her partner was stabbed and required hospital treatment – also for a cellphone.
That is all that police know was taken in the early morning house robbery in Bathurst – two cellphones.
Word spread of the horrific attack and by now most locals know Stephne Evans, a long-time resident, was killed and her partner Andre Malan wounded in the attack.
According to the police report, Malan was set upon by two attackers when he went outside to investigate some noises. He tried to get back inside and close the door but was stabbed. When Evans went to see what was happening she was struck and killed, with what we don’t know.
Malan is in his 60s and Evans was also past middle age, and a slightly built woman. She posed no threat to anyone.
But cowards like to prey on the elderly and on women. They are easy targets for people with evil intent.
The robbers who attacked Evans and Malan in the early hours of Sunday morning targeted a house knowing that people were home. Carrying a knife, they were prepared to use it – and they did. Their intent was clear. They may not have intended murder but they did it.
Now this crime is not just another burglary or even just a house robbery – it is murder, and grievous assault on the surviving victim.
We are shocked and saddened by this news, even more so because we knew Evans, and we know Malan. Some of us at Talk of the Town saw them as recently as last week, at the monthly quiz at The Ploughman pub at the Bathurst Agricultural Museum.
As quizmaster, Stephne was her gregarious, witty self, flummoxing us with questions on esoteric trivia, laughing with us and deftly handling gripes about the answers or disruptive players.
Malan, as always, was listening from the pub. Now he won’t her voice anymore.
It is bittersweet thinking of this now, these last memories of Evans in her element. I am so glad there was such a good turnout for what was to be her last quiz, with lots of mirth and warm feelings all round.
Our hearts also cry out for justice. An innocent woman was cut down in violence, and the perpetrators must be found and face the consequences of their evil deed.
We wish all success to the detectives in finding them, building a solid case for conviction and that the courts and prisons do their part.
– Jon Houzet