Zara and Lana Schofield with their mother Katrina Drummond.
Zara and Lana Schofield with their mother Katrina Drummond.

BIG READ: Afraid to get out: Until it was too late

Katrina Drummond was trapped. She didn't want to stay with her ex-husband Martin Cranswick Schofield.

But he had put money into her house when she couldn't afford to keep it, and now leaving him would mean leaving her home. She was stuck, and Schofield knew it.

When she finally did decide she was going anyway, Schofield flew into a rage. He vandalised Drummond's car and then battered the 47-year-old mother of three to death with a hammer.

Having their mother die in such a horrific way at the hands of their father has been hard to deal with for Drummond's two older daughters Lana, 30, and Zara, 26.

There was the death. The publicity. The trial, where Schofield pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to 11 years without parole.

The house where Drummond lived with Schofield and her youngest daughter Casey Drummond, with Lana and her partner in the flat underneath, had to be sold.

It's been tougher than words can describe. But now Lana and Zara are speaking out about the emotional abuse their mother suffered for months under Schofield. He never hit her, but he controlled her, and Drummond didn't know how to push back.

Martin Cranswick Schofield in court.
Martin Cranswick Schofield in court.

Little by little, he moved into Drummond's home.

"All of sudden he was slowly bringing stuff back and Mum didn't want him to. Mum kept trying to make him move out, move downstairs, told him time and time again, and he wouldn't."

Drummond had bought her ex Ken out of his share of house, and she had a part-time job but it wasn't enough to cover her mortgage.

Schofield had found a job in Taupo, and he had money. He put some in to save her losing the house, becoming listed as a co-owner. But then Drummond was stuck.

Her daughters could see what was happening. They urged her to leave. She wanted Schofield out, but he wasn't budging. She couldn't afford to lose her house and the thought of starting over for the second time was frightening.

"He said to her: 'I'm not going and you're not going either'. He just always said that he wouldn't leave," says Lana.

"I was like 'go to Australia, go anywhere, move,' but Mum always said he would find her."

Zara: "He said 'I've lost you once before, I'm not going to lose you again'."

Police and investigators at the house in Elizabeth St in Tauhara, Taupo, where Katrina Drummond was killed on April 14. Photo / Alan Gibson
Police and investigators at the house in Elizabeth St in Tauhara, Taupo, where Katrina Drummond was killed on April 14. Photo / Alan Gibson

"He emotionally controlled her and made her feel worthless I suppose, and when they got back together it kind of was the same. He still made sure that he knew exactly what she was doing."

The women say Schofield would put on a show in front of other people, appearing doting, but they knew he was manipulating her when nobody else was there.

They were little things, but they were significant. She wasn't allowed to buy cheese and biscuits for her children. Schofield would text Lana and Zara asking them if they knew where their mum was. It had crossed the line from love to control.

"It was a show that we could see through, but couldn't do much about.

"We told her to go to the police a couple of weeks before and she said 'what would they do?'. The police said to us they can't arrest someone over nothing. There was no evidence of violence so you can't hold anything against him," Lana says.

But Drummond had been meeting another man and she was struggling for a way to tell Schofield.

Eventually, on April 15 last year, Schofield found a message on her phone saying she was preparing to tell him it was over. All he knew was that she had been texting someone, but that was all it took.

Drummond and Schofield argued. And at some point, he vandalised her car, then got a hammer. He killed her in her own bedroom. Then he went to the Taupo Police Station and confessed.

The subsequent 18 months were a nightmare. Police, funeral directors, court, lawyers, real estate agents, insurance companies, all had to be dealt with.

Sisters Lana and Zara Schofield, with baby son Regan.
Sisters Lana and Zara Schofield, with baby son Regan.

Lana and Zara had to go into hiding to avoid the media attention. They had the support of their partners, Thomas and Keith and both their bosses were understanding, giving them extended leave until they were ready to return to work.

Friends set up a Givealittle page, which helped pay for the headstone, some of the lawyers' bills and other costs.

Then, a bombshell. Zara discovered she was pregnant. Finding out she was to become a parent after just losing her own brought mixed emotions.

And now that she's mother to baby Regan, the loss of her own mother for advice, support and babysitting, has been felt even more keenly, along with the knowledge that Drummond would have been thrilled to be a grandmother.

"She was always asking for grandkids. That was the one thing that she wanted the most."

Lana has become a mother figure too, with she and partner Thomas taking on the care of younger sister Casey.

When it came to men, Drummond had bad luck, her daughters say. Despite that, she was a fun mum, very family oriented. She was their rock. Now they turn to each other, or to their partners.

But not Schofield. They never had much time for him, and now they'd be happy to never hear from him again. He sends them letters, from prison. Zara told him not to ever contact them again, but he still writes. He'll be out in nine years. They want nothing to do with him.

Of course they wish there was more they could have done, but Drummond did not want to listen, and was not emotionally strong enough to countenance leaving. Her daughters tried to tell her, many times, that the relationship was unhealthy.

But Drummond had low self-esteem and had lost all her confidence from years of being picked at and beaten down.

Family violence campaigners say women find it difficult to leave abusive relationships. In some cases it can take seven or more attempts, and the time that they do leave is the most dangerous. The risk of being killed by her partner quadruples.

On the night Schofield attacked Drummond, she might have finally been ready to go. But Schofield wouldn't let her.

She paid with her life.

Psychological harm often part of nightmare

When women come to Shine for help after a physical assault, it's often revealed that they've also been psychologically abused for years, says Jill Proudfoot.

Proudfoot is client services manager at Shine, the charity which has made it its mission to stop domestic abuse in New Zealand.

She says psychological abuse encompasses all the strategies used by a person who wants to control someone else, make sure they can't exert their own free will, and create fear and anxiety about what might happen next.

It can take the form of threats, intimidation, constant texting to see where the person is, monitoring email activity, checking finances and online presence. Isolating a person by cutting them off from their friends, or spreading rumours about them, such as saying they have mental health issues, is also common.

Sometimes the behaviour only happens in private and the abuser acts like the perfect partner in public, Proudfoot says.

"So [the victim] is scared to tell anyone because of the fear of not being believed. That two-faced thing is very confusing because people think you're so lucky, what a great couple, he's such a lovely guy and all that sort of thing."

Proudfoot says if a person thinks they are being abused, they can phone various helplines, talk and get advice. They can get a protection order for psychological or financial abuse as well as physical abuse.

She says the usual advice to victims of psychological abuse is to make a note of every incident with time and date so that they have evidence to establish a pattern of abusive behaviour.

Proudfoot's advice to people wanting to leave abusive relationships is to talk to someone who knows what the options are and can help.

She says if friends and family know someone in an abusive relationship, they need to stay by their side and not judge them. And to "keep the support going even once they seem to be safe."

How to find help

For 24-hour domestic violence support  phone Queensland's DVConnect on 1800 811 811 or MensLine on 1800 600 636, NSW's  Domestic Violence Line on 1800 656 463 or the  national hotline 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732). If you need mental health support contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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