The owner of a popular Queenstown riding stable is “dumbfounded” his former horse trainer boss is at the centre of a grisly murder trial.
Kirsti Windsor, 38, is accused of killing her ex-boyfriend – landscape gardener David Langdon, 40 – not long after the couple left the Wakatipu to move back to England.
Windsor murdered her former lover then sat on her cottage patio drinking red wine with a friend and watched his
body burn on a garden bonfire, it was alleged in Worcester Crown Court, last week.
She then told police he’d “committed suicide by jumping on the bonfire,” the jury heard at the ongoing trial, which is expected to last seven weeks.
Queenstowner Geoff Clear hired Windsor to help manage his Moonlight Stables oper-ation near Arrow Junction for 14 months until she followed Langdon – who also worked part-time at the same stables – back to Britain in early 2008.
Langdon’s charred remains were found at the couple’s remote rented home in Wormelow, Herefordshire, in August 2008 after he’d been missing for over a week.
Windsor denies murdering Langdon.
Clear – also a local scoutmaster – says he and his wife Janice kept in contact with accused Windsor until recently.
“I’m dumbfounded,” he says.
“Like any other couple they had their ups and downs but never in a thousand years would I have thought Kirsti could be capable of something like that, or that David deserved anything like that,” Clear says.
“She always came across as a kind person and a dedicated worker who didn’t appear to have a mean bone in her body.
“David was an easy-going bloke who enjoyed a beer. He had a pretty good attitude to life – he wasn’t going to die of an ulcer.”
Englishman Langdon is believed to have arrived in Queenstown with his long-term girlfriend Windsor in 2006 while travelling around New Zealand in a campervan. As well as a stint at Moonlight, he also had spells working for Southern Lakes Fencing, based in Gibbston, and Kingston-based civil construction company Wilson Contractors.
Langdon – nicknamed “Horse” – left for the United Kingdom in late June 2007 when his mother took ill and he stayed at the Wormelow cottage where his body was later discovered. Windsor, who had shared addresses with
him in Frankton, joined him some time later.
“I think Kirsti was missing him and she eventually left to go back to England as well,” Clear says.
“I believe she left here with the intention of getting engaged and married and that they were going to be together for life – that’s what blows me away about all this.”
Clear adds: “Kirsti was last in touch with us a few months ago while she was still on bail and insists she has done nothing wrong.”