-  # Gunn-Britt Ashfield..AKA-Anjelic Karstrom
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GUNN-BRITT ASHFIELD.(AKA-ANJELIC KARSTROM)- was permitted to change her name while in jail.
43 yrs old (2011)
Sentenced in 1994 to 21 yrs jail/ reduced to 19 yrs on appeal-14 yrs non parole.
Parole has been denied since 2007.
Expected to be released in July 2011.
Child Killer. Bashed her 6 yr old son (John Ashfield) to death in 1993.
Gun-Britt and her then boyfriend,
Austin Allan Hughes
placed a telephone book to the childs head and repeatedly hit him with a hammer.
John died in hospital the next day from massive head injuries.
The Daily Telegraph (9-6-2011). Gunn-Britt Ashfield expected to get parole in a month.
A WOMAN who brutally killed her six-year-old son is expected to be paroled next month after
serving 18-years of her 19-year sentence..Read More below.
Galleries: The John Ashfield tragedy
Pic - Gunn-Britt Ashfield
Pic - Gunn-Britt Ashfield
Mother who killed son with 100 hammer, phone book blows is released
GUNN-BRITT Ashfield, the woman who brutally killed her six-year-old son John in 1993, has been released from a Sydney jail today.
Ashfield, who has changed her name to Angelic Karstrom walked out of the Windsor John Maroney prison complex this morning after serving 18 years
jail for murdering her little boy, John Ashfield in 1993.
His sister and three brothers witnessed Ashfield and her then partner Austin Allan Hughes beat John with a hammer and a phone book over 100 times
over a period of several hours.
He died in Shoalhaven Hospital the next day.
Karstrom, who was wearing a black trouser suit and a white-collared shirt, did not speak to media as she was escorted to a waiting vehicle by police.
Dressed in black boots, black pants and a black jacket over a white shirt, she walked straight from the prison with her head down, ignoring the media
and refusing to comment.
Escorted by two probation and parole officers, Karstrom was taken to a secret corrective services-approved residential facility, where she will live for the next 12 months.
All she had with her was a blue garbage bag of belongings, with not one member of her family arriving at the jail to greet her after 18 years of jail.
A corrective services spokeswoman said she will be heavily monitored over the next year.
Karstrom will have her anklet calibrated this afternoon before she settles into her new place.
The 43-year-old will be subject to strict parole conditions including electronic monitoring, drug and alcohol testing and have a curfew.
John Ashfield was in first grade at Nowra East public school when he died from massive head injuries inflicted by Ashfield and her then boyfriend Austin Hughes.
In evidence presented to court NSW Supreme Court Ashfield, then 25, became enraged because she thought her son had touched his three-year-old sister inappropriately.
The pair decided to teach John a lesson and Austin said the boy would not be allowed to "get away with it''.
He died in Shoalhaven Hospital with more than 100 bruises to the head and body
Ashfield has also been prohibited from seeing Hughes who was released from jail in2009.
The Parole Board announced in June Ashfield was to be freed one year ahead of her release date.
If Ashfield had served her full 19 years there would have been no way of imposing parole conditions and authorities would not have been able to
know her whereabouts or monitor her behaviour.
The Daily Telegraph (15-8-2011)
Mark Morri/ Nathan Klein
Gunn-Britt Ashfield expected to get parole in a month
A WOMAN who brutally killed her six-year-old son is expected to be paroled next month after serving 18-years of her 19-year sentence.
Gunn-Britt Ashfield and her boyfriend,
repeatedly hit the young boy with a hammer after he came home from school.
John Ashfield was just six-years old and in first grade at Nowra East public school when he died from massive head in juries inflicted
by the pair in 1993.
In evidence presented to court NSW Supreme court Ashfield, then 25, became enraged because she thought her son had touched his
three-year-old sister inappropriately.
The pair decided to teach John a lesson and Austin said the boy would not be allowed to "get away with it".
He died in Shoalhaven Hospital with more than 100 bruises to the head and body.
The Parole Board said by releasing her early Ashfield will subjected to strict parole conditions.
If Ashfield had served her full 19 years there would have been no option to impose parole conditions and
authorities would not be able to know whereabouts or her behaviour.
Ashfield, now known as Angelic Karstrom ,will be electronically monitored, prohibited from residing or visiting
the Wollongong and Nowra Local Government Areas.
She will also be constantly drug and alcohol tested, must live in a residence approved by the Probation and
Parole Service and be subject to curfews and on-going assessment.
She is not allowed to contact her co-offender, Austin Allan Hughes.
She has been refused parole for four consecutive years, despite being eligible since 2007.
The State's Serious Offenders Review Council and the Probation and Parole Service supported her release.
A report tendered by the Serious Offenders Review Council states:
"Her acknowledgement of her crime has been the most dramatic and important development in the past two years.
"It's important that the inmate be tested on conditional liberty."
State Parole Authority Director Robert Cosman said the intention to grant parole was based on recommendations that the inmate be monitored in the community.
"There was limited opportunity remaining for the release of this offender on conditional liberty," Mr Cosman said.
"It's in the public interest for the offender to be monitored under strict supervision rather than release her from custody without restrictions."
Austin Hughes was released in December 2009.
The SPA has stood the matter over until July 29 for public hearing to allow for the State and registered victims to make submissions
The Daily Telegraph (9-6-2011)
Melissa Ashfield tells NSW Parole Board hearing into release of Austin Hughes of 16 years reliving brother John's murder
A WOMAN who saw her six-year-old brother beaten to death by his mother and her boyfriend in 1993 says she still has traumatic flashbacks about the killing.
Melissa Ashfield was just three years old when she witnessed the murder of her brother John at the family home in Nowra on the NSW south coast.
Her mother and her mother's boyfriend Austin Hughes were both jailed for 21 years, with a non-parole period of 14 years, for killing John by putting a telephone book next to his head and beating him repeatedly with a hammer.
On Tuesday, John's relatives attended a hearing for Hughes, who is seeking release on parole.
Before the NSW Parole Board hearing in Parramatta, Melissa Ashfield recounted the helplessness she felt when she saw Hughes beat her brother with a hammer.
"They started hitting him and punching him ... they got my brothers to go on the top bunk and one by one jump on him," she told reporters.
At the hearing, John's father's former fiance, Wendy Campbell, read a statement for Melissa Ashfield.
"They took him to the bathroom and smashed his head on the tiles," the statement said.
"It is very hard every time parole comes up we are forced to bring back the flashbacks.
"I will never be able to see my brother, I will never be able to get to know him.
"He (Hughes) wants to get out two years early, but I never got those two years with my brother."
The board has delayed making a decision on Hughes' parole until December 8.
The killer story we could not publish until now
IN August 1993, a little boy - John Ashfield, aged 6 - was beaten to death with a hammer to his head.
His mother, Gunn-Britt Ashfield, then 25, led the assault; her boyfriend, Austin Allan Hughes, then 20, was a keen participant.
According to evidence presented to court in December 1993, Ashfield became enraged when she heard that John, who was in Year 1 at East Nowra primary school on the NSW south coast, touched his three-year-old sister in an inappropriate way. Her boyfriend agreed the boy could not be allowed to "get away with it".
He didn't. Less than 24 hours later he died in Shoalhaven Hospital, his tiny body covered in more than 100 bruises from his parents's savage beating -- a beating that ended with Hughes putting the Nowra telephone book against John's head, and hitting him with a hammer.
They were each sentenced to 21 years in jail, reduced to 19 years on appeal, with a minimum of 14 years.
Next Thursday, 14 years since she beat John to death, his mother, who has changed her name in prison and now calls herself Anjelic Karstrom, will apply for parole. Hughes has also applied for parole. His case will also be heard next Thursday.
In 2004, the NSW Parliament passed laws that made it an offence for media outlets to publish the name of a dead child who had been the victim of a crime, no matter what the circumstances.
This law prevented The Weekend Australian from printing this story, ostensibly to protect the victim, John.
The newspaper's parent company, News Limited, backed by groups including the NSW Homicide Victims Support Group, and the Victims of Crime Assistance League, has lobbied against this law since it was enacted, believing that it protects only the killers from being identified.
On Thursday night, the NSW Parliament passed a bill amending the law, making publication permissible in some circumstances, such as if the next of kin agrees. The changes come into effect next Wednesday.
John's sister Melissa, 17, does not want her mother released. "I have not seen my mother since I was 11," she said. "The last time I saw her (in prison) I pulled her hair and slapped her. I have flashbacks to what happened. She tried to blame me. She tried to get us to help her bash John. She tried to say that John touched me. He never touched me."
Melissa says she remembers the day John was beaten, "clear as anything". When he swang in from school that day, August 5, Hughes confronted him in the kitchen. He told police he kicked John on the bottom with the side of his foot "the way you kick a soccer ball", slapped him around the head and sent him to his room.
But that was not the end of it: Ashfield and Hughes decided John needed to be taught a lesson. They went into his bedroom and started beating him.
A frenzy soon developed: they punched him with their fists, and beat him with the white aluminium rod that held up a curtain.
John was sobbing: "I'm really sorry, don't do this to me, I'm sore, I'm sorry."
Hughes mocked him, saying: "You scream like a little girl."
When John continued to sob, Hughes took a girl's dress out of the cupboard and shoved it over the crying boy's head, forcing his arms through the sleeves.
"He started crying and carrying on," Hughes would later say, in a statement to police.
"He was crying: 'Get it off, get it off, I'm not a girl'."
Death came slowly: Ashfield would later tell police that Hughes had put the phone book against John's head, and repeatedly beat him with a hammer, until
John was limp and dazed, unable to sit up on the bed.
When it became apparent that John had lost consciousness, his mother dunked him under a cold shower, then a hot shower.
Several hours passed before Ashfield took her son to Shoalhaven Hospital. In the meantime, she told her other children to tell police John had been
beaten by a gang of teenagers while walking through a park.
Her oldest boy, then aged eight, went on national television to back up the story.
In a shaky voice, he said: "We were going to buy milk and bread when four boys said, 'Come here. We want to bash you up'."
The story was never going to stack up: John was cold and bleeding from the nostrils when he was airlifted to Westmead hospital in Sydney.
Doctor Barry Wilkins would later tell the court he had more than 100 different coloured bruises, suggesting "repeated, non-accidental beating".
His small hands were swollen and bruised, which suggested he had "attempted to fend off an assault". He had suffered a very serious brain injury.
John died the next day, Friday, August 6, 1993. His mother and her boyfriend were charged with murder shortly afterwards.
On the day of John's funeral, his natural father, Brian Ashfield, wailed over the white coffin.
Brian is now dead but he told reporters at the time of his son's murder that he had warned the NSW Department of Community Services
that his wife was violent, and that she intended to hurt the children. In fact, DoCS had about 35 notifications that all was not well at Ashfield's home.
Ashfield asked DoCS to take the kids away from her, saying she "felt violent" towards them.
Melissa's life since her brother was killed has been chaotic: she was fostered into the care of DoCS after her mother went
to prison but ran away at 11. She bounced around foster homes, and was briefly placed in a nunnery in Grafton, until she fell pregnant at 16,
and lost the baby. She admits to "drinking alcohol, doing crazy stuff" to deal with anger and grief but is trying to steady her path.
She now lives with her boyfriend, Jason, 33, and is in counselling.
John's uncle, Andrew Ashfield, said the law banning publication of John's story had "protected the people who killed him, and the social workers who let it happen".
"DoCS knew that she was violent, and knew that she was troubled," he said. "But they didn't take the kids until after she killed one of them."
Wendy Campbell, who was Brian's fiance at the time of John's death, wants the case to get media attention because she "promised Brian,
if they ever apply for parole, I will be there, and I will stop it".
The Australian (30-6-2007)
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