Tragedy and the need for emotional skills

Mr Waite and Ms Stanton met on a networking website in March. They dated for a while, until Mr Waite went on holiday overseas in June.

When he returned, they started seeing each other again from time to time. They had a shared interest in tramping and cycling.

In April, Ms Stanton connected with Mowatt on a dating website. The inquest heard that although she initially enjoyed spending time with him, even telling friends she wanted to marry him, she later decided the relationship was not working, that she felt smothered by her new man’s constant attention.

In early August, she told Mowatt she did not want the relationship to continue. A series of texts between the pair, found by police, showed she was firm on the matter, despite Mowatt’s telling her he loved her and that he was keen to find a way to make the relationship work.

They carried on seeing each other, but by then Ms Stanton was seeing Mr Waite again.
According to the police, on one occasion, Mowatt arrived uninvited at Ms Stanton’s home and found Mr Waite there.

“This was witnessed by a friend who was also visiting who said that Mr Mowatt behaved in a very possessive manner towards Ms Stanton,” Greig said in her report.

About three weeks before the murders, Mowatt told a good friend that he had broken up with Ms Stanton.

“John said this coincided with the two-year anniversary of his marriage split and a year since he lost his job. John described it as being ‘all a bit much’ and [his friend said] he seemed pretty down,” the report said.

On August 15, Mowatt told his 20-year-old son that he was “at another crisis point”. He said his relationship had broken up and his emotions were to blame. He said his time with Ms Stanton had been one of the best periods in his life, but he would “get through it”.

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