A colleague of child care worker Tina Kontozis, who was brutally bashed to death with a cricket bat by her ex-husband, warned he was capable of killing her.
At Beachcomber Avenue on Sunday 24 April, police were confronted with the battered and lifeless body of Ms Kontozis while her son, Daniel, was taken to Sutherland Hospital with an injured arm and cut to the head.
It’s understood that the 17-year-old was with a friend nearby and returned home to intervene during the attack after neighbours heard shouting from the residence.
Ms Kontozis’ ex-husband Stephen Boyd, 51, had fled the scene but was arrested at Braidwood, east of Canberra, a short time later. He has since been charged with murder, contravening a domestic violence order and two counts of assault.
Boyd was refused bail, to appear at Queanbeyan Magistrates Court on Friday.
Former Goanna Patch Kindergarten owner, Len Baker, said Ms Kontozis was an employee for more than a decade and was always bright, cheerful and brought lots of love and joy to the children, parents and staff.
He and other staff members became aware of Boyd’s increasingly erratic behaviour and excessive alcohol use leading up to the marriage split earlier this year and an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) was taken out against him.
“One of the staff members told her (Ms Kontozis) ‘don’t ever take him back or you’re going to become another statistic’,” Mr Baker told Neos Kosmos.
“On social occasions I had experienced him (Boyd) really behaving like an asshole. Tina had told me there were problems at home, but I wasn’t aware of any physical violence.”
Through Ms Kontozis’ role in caring for their children, locals were familiar with her zest for life, that she loved to dance, laugh and make people happy, but were struggling to understand how such a beautiful soul met with so violent an end. “When Tina walked into the room, all the kids would run to her. She was their favourite and most kids in the area ,up to about 16, knew her,” Mr Baker said. “She would finish work and then go home and prepare games and activities and make things for the kids, and when I offered to pay she wouldn’t accept. “Tina didn’t work for the money, she worked because she loved it and thought she was going to a fun children’s party every day she was on the job.” Locals have quickly mobilised to crowd-source funds to assist with Daniel’s immediate future. Devastated by the tragic events, Daniel had a simple but powerful message the following morning on Anzac Day, changing his social media profile picture at 7.40 am to a ‘Stop Violence Against Women’ image with a blue handprint and above it, ‘For Mum’ and two love hearts. Through to the next evening, friends and relatives offered messages of support, sympathy and condolence.
Daniel acknowledged each of the 78 messages from his hospital bed, with a click of the thumbs up ‘Like’ button.
Among them was one from his cousin, Adam Kontozios: “Daniel, I’m coming to the hospital today. Be there soon little cuz.”
The funeral service for Ms Kontozis was held at 10.00 am on Wednesday 4 May at St Stylianos Greek Orthodox Church in Sydney. Hundreds attended.
The victim’s nephew Adam posted a picture of the coffin captioned: “Rest in peace you beautiful soul. I’ll never forget you, and I promise I’ll take the liberty of taking care of Daniel, from the moment your duties were taken away by that piece of shit you gave your everything to.”
Meanwhile, the crowd funding campaign for Daniel has exceeded $17,300.
To contribute, go to www.gofundme.com/2q3tmttg