This is NZ: 8 years for beating his girlfriend to death; he’ll be out earlier

Jesse John Ferris-Bromley, via RNZ

Jesse John Ferris-Bromley, via RNZ


The man who fatally beat his Massey University girlfriend had been jailed for eight years.

Jesse Ferris-Bromley, 22, was sentenced in the High Court at Wellington today, for the manslaughter of Virginia Rose Ford, 20, in Palmerston North last year.

Originally from Dunedin, Miss Ford died from internal injuries following a beating in the flat she shared with Ferris-Bromley.

After the sentencing, police said it had been a difficult one as there was evidence she had been beaten before.

“Virginia obviously suffered significantly in the last few months of her life and the discovery of this has been a source of great pain for her family,” said Detective Sergeant David Thompson.

Ferris-Bromley’s guilty plea had spared the family a trial, but their tragedy and loss could not be overstated, he said.

“Virginia was a young woman with her whole life ahead of her. She had moved to Palmerston North to study computer science at Massey University and was excited about this new chapter in her life.

“Ferris-Bromley’s actions betrayed the trust Virginia and her family placed in him in the worst way possible.”

Police also released comments on behalf of the family.

“No matter what the sentence is, it will never be enough for taking the life of our beloved Virginia or what was done to her in the weeks before she was killed.

“We have to live with that. Nothing can bring her back.”

I can feel their pain from here and I hope that his relatively short term prison sentence will be more intense because of it.

Virginia Rose Ford via Stuff

Virginia Rose Ford via Stuff


– Newshub


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  • Carl

    Does anyone know why he was only charged with manslaughter and not murder?

    • rantykiwi

      Because he beat the bejeezus out of her just as he had previously. She hadn’t died then, so why should he expect her to now – therefore it was not his intention that she die. Thus, not murder. Ergo, the law is an ass.

      • Elmwood

        The law made no decision on this, he pleaded guilty to manslaughter. No ass here.

        • rantykiwi

          With the way you’re running around justifying the fact he wasn’t charged with murder it’s hard not to wonder if he’s a family member of yours.

          • Elmwood

            You missed the point. I wasn’t justifying the charge, I was explaining the sentence was stern in light of the charge.

    • Elmwood

      He pleaded guilty to manslaughter, you could could be more critical of the Police for accepting that plea. However the Police probably took into account the likelihood of a jury being satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that he intended to kill and decided it was reaistic to accept the manslaughter plea. The judge sentenced on the charge that was before him.

  • Brian Smaller

    I just don’t understand this. Eight years? How is this justice?

    • zotaccore

      It isn’t. That’s the problem with so-called justice. 8 years has got to be a joke, and so is the judge sentencing this slime. Harden up judges – seems as though offenders are telling sob stories that judges are gullible enough to believe.

      • Elmwood

        He pleaded guilty to manslaughter, not murder. The judge therefore has to sentence him him on the basis that he didn’t intend to kill. Eight years for manslaughter is actually a stern sentence. The judge is not gullible, the sentence refflected the crime the defendant pleaded gulity to.

  • XCIA

    Is there a word missing from the last sentence?

  • Muffin

    I’m sorry but I have two daughters and if this happened to one of them I’d be prepared to do anything regardless of the consequences to ensure justice was done. That sentence is not justice.

  • willtin

    Bring back, so called, Mental Hospitals and allow a safe place for people with major problems.
    Watch their life and our society become safer as a consequence.

  • The Needler

    The trouble is in 8 years time no one will remember.

  • Nechtan

    8 years for beating a person to death? Regardless of the accused’s intent, he beat a person so severely that they died. 8 years is that all a life is worth under our “justice” system? Its a joke. Its about time we did away with maximum sentences and introduced mandatory minimum sentences.

  • phronesis

    Isn’t it normal to be granted parole after half the sentence has been served? So presumably he will be out in 4 years.

  • Iva b ginn

    I find it difficult to understand reading this post that this person was not charged with murder, when you take into consideration that the deceased according to the evidence had suffered beatings leading up to her death by the perpetrator. This to me would be a case of premeditated murder.

  • Keanne Lawrence

    What a sad outcome for the family that their precious daughters life was valued so low by the Police and then the judiciary. It is a sad but never-ending saga of how a human life is becoming so lowly valued in NZ that it might end up being a world leader in leniency.
    Think it is time to stop correcting people here when they assume I am American like the majority of foreigners living here and take down the flag as well.

    • Digger

      Hello Keanne. Could you kindly explain your last paragraph? I doesn’t seem to relate to the story. Also, from the article how do you derive the opinion that Police placed a low value on Virginia’s life?

  • RAS

    The really appalling thing is that the “8 years” is itself a fiction. He’ll end up serving at most, 2/3rds of his sentence.
    I expect he’ll have little problem staying out of trouble in prison because there won’t be any defenceless women to bash.

  • one for the road

    Manslaughter is an absolute mis carriage of justice, he clearly wanted to kill her as he had beaten her to an inch of her life before, yet why he was sentenced and convicted of manslaughter is just ludicrous!! Hope he gets karma in prison…