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Vicky Calder - The people involved
Before Lloyd became ill, he and Calder had all the appearances of an ideal couple, successful, intelligent and well travelled. At 55, Lloyd had earned international accolades for his work and was appointed a Royal Society Fellow. Calder had met Lloyd in 1986 and they lived in a de facto relationship. Both had been previously married. Calder completed a PhD and by 1992 was working as a molecular biologist at the Christchurch Medical School.

Lloyd was a popular teacher and he had Calder enjoyed a rich social life until they travelled to London in June 1992, for Lloyd to receive his Royal Society Fellowship. They spent time together travelling overseas, but then went their separate ways, Lloyd to California and Calder to a meeting in Amsterdam. Lloyd returned home first and when joined by Calder on 28 June he told her he had fallen in love with Canadian-born botanist Linda Newstrom in California and planned a permanent relationship with her. In fact the couple had met in 1991 and had discussed the ramifications of a relationship. The 1992 visit to California followed by Lloyd leaving Calder put the seal on it.

Calder was reportedly stunned at the abrupt end of their relationship. She lost weight and could not sleep and worried about her future and career. She wrote Lloyd a string of letters many of them angry and included one which said she had ‘lost everything’. She harassed him in a range of ways including cutting up his clothes and letting down the tyres of his car.

Lloyd wrote of being concerned about Calder and the possibility of her taking her own life and of difficulties in tying up the material side of their relationship such as the sale of the family home.

Newstrom planned to come to New Zealand over Christmas where she and Lloyd would assess their future prospects. Meanwhile Lloyd became ill and thought he may have been suffering from food poisoning. He vomited, had bowel problems and gradually deteriorated until he was uncharacteristically dishevelled, unsteady as if drunk, sweating, dizzy, incoherent, anxious, sometimes illogically fearful.

Just before Newstrom’s planned departure, Lloyd had phoned to tell her he was not well. A few days later she received word he was in the intensive care unit of Christchurch Hospital. Lloyd’s condition deteriorated rapidly. He had been in hospital for four days when Newstrom arrived in the country and visited him. By then he was in a coma.

Next related article: Forward to Vicky Calder - Police become interestedVicky Calder - Police become interested

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