A Northlander who killed a farmer with a knife told flatmates it was a revenge act after the alleged sexual abuse of a child.

Marcus Bax, 39, pleaded guilty during a callover in the High Court at Whangarei this week to murdering Peter Linder Nilsson, 77, in Te Kao, 70km north west of Kaitaia, in August last year.

Bax accepted a draft police summary of facts on which he entered his plea, barring some disputed facts around the summary's reference to Bax's use of a knife.

A disputed facts' hearing will take place on a date yet to be confirmed before Bax is sentenced. The maximum penalty for murder is life in prison.


The summary of facts said Bax lived in Te Kao. Peter Nilsson lived a few kilometres away.
About 9.30pm on August 4, 2016, Bax shared a meal with his flatmates and after having a beer, left the property in his vehicle.

He returned a short time later carrying a butcher's knife, covered in blood.

Bax confessed to his flatmates that he had killed Mr Nilsson and asked them to help him destroy evidence. He showered, used bleach to get rid of blood and burned clothing.
Fearful for their own safety, the flatmates agreed to help.

One of the flatmates visited Mr Nilsson's property and found him in bed, unresponsive.
Police were called, and while waiting for them to arrive, Bax made numerous admissions to his flatmates and said he killed Mr Nilsson in retaliation for the alleged sexual abuse of a child.

Mr Nilsson was dead by the time police arrived. A knife that belonged to Mr Nilsson was located next to an incinerator that contained burnt clothes where Bax lived.

Bax denied leaving the house he lived in or killing Mr Nilsson when he spoke to police that night.

When spoken to formally the next day, he said he did not remember what happened the previous night.