Former Stamford woman Jemma Lilley faces murder charge in Australia


A former Stamford woman has appeared in court in Australia charged with murdering a teenager who had Asperger’s syndrome.

Jemma Victoria Lilley, 25, and the co-accussed Trudi Lennon, 42, appeared separately in Perth Magistrates’ Court via video link on June 29 for the second time,

They are charged with the murder of Aaron Pajich, 18, from Perth.

They were remanded in custody to appear again in Stirling Gardens Magistrates’ Court, Perth, on August 31.

Lilley is believed to have attended Casterton Business and Enterprise College and New College Stamford. She lived in the centre of Stamford before emigrating to Australia about five years ago.

Aaron had Asperger’s syndrome and was found buried under a concrete slab in the backyard of a house in Orelia, south of Perth, according to police.

He had been missing for a week before his body was found and the last confirmed sighting was at a taxi rank, where he was due to meet a man and a woman who he had met through a gaming website.

The two charged women live at the address and officers revealed that Aaron may have known at least one of the women.

But they have refused to reveal what the motive may have been.

Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Gorton, of Major Crime, told Australian media that one of the women charged studied at the same educational facility as Aaron in Kwinana.

Aaron’s mum Sharon Pajich told PerthNow in Australia that her son was a “loving boy” and a gentle soul.

“He was a very good boy and he would never have hurt anyone,” she said. “He respected life and everything else . . . he enjoyed school.”

She said he would be missed “very deeply” and wanted it known she had “always loved him”.

Aaron’s father Keith Sweetman said he and Aaron’s stepmother Veronica Desmond, were shocked, describing the teenager as a “lovely child and great boy.”

“(He was) always helping us, would always come and see us, would always be there to help us when we needed help,” he said.

Mr Sweetman said his son was “very trusting”.

“Because he loved people, his heart was not bad, he didn’t smoke, he didn’t drink, he went to church. He gave himself to the Lord and then someone goes and takes him.”

Hundreds of people, including Mr Pajich’s family, attended a candlelit vigil in his memory and a GoFundMe page was set up to help his family pay for the funeral costs. It raised $15,707 (about £9,000).