Dawn Griggs.
Dawn Griggs. The Northern Star

Byron woman's killers face death

IN the few years that Dawn Griggs called Byron home she infused all who knew her with a passion for promoting good in others.

So news of her brutal rape and murder at the hands of two Indian taxi drivers in New Delhi's airport complex four years ago came as a blow to everyone she touched.

Over the weekend Dawn's attackers, Jyotish Prasad, 28, and Ashish Kumar, 31, were found guilty of her murder and now face possible death by hanging.

Dawn's violent end was all the more ironic considering the seasoned Indian traveller had pre-booked the taxi before arrival, and was on her way to an ashram run by an all-woman sect known as the Brahmakumari Aishwarya Vidyalaya, or Academy for a Better World. The sect promotes celibacy and meditation.

Friend Claire Leimbach said Dawn was 'committed to a spiritual path promoting loving and kindness. She was committed to doing good work'.

"She was very outgoing and loved life," said Ms Leimbach.

For Ms Leimbach, a seasoned traveller of Third World countries for the past 40 years, Dawn's murder was a warning that travellers need to take care.

"The fact that she pre-booked the taxi and that the crime was committed in the environs of the sprawling New Delhi airport was for me a warning," she said.

Rainbow region identity Paul Joseph also recalled Dawn as a kind friend, whom he respected for her passion.

"Dawn was committed to the spirit of life-long learning," he said. "She had a profound impact on people seeking a spiritual path."

Mr Joseph warned that her open and beautiful nature may have blinded her to the reality of humanity's dark side.

Delivering his verdict in the case, Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Kumar said prosecutors had 'conclusively established the complicity' of Prasad and Kumar in the rape and murder.

The two men, who have been in jail for the past four years, showed no reaction. The penalty for murder in India is death by hanging or a life term of 'rigorous imprisonment'.

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