A killer who licked blood from a knife after stabbing a young father of two could be sentenced for murder as early as this week.
Shayd Robinson, 21, was found guilty of murdering Stokes Valley father Aaron Hadfield, 27, in the High Court at Wellington yesterday.
The Crown alleged Robinson stabbed Hadfield in the chest through the window of the victim's car after an altercation over his driving on January 26 last year.
Mr Hadfield had been returning home from picking up prescription medicine for one of his young children.
Robinson's defence lawyer, Mike Antunovic, said he acted in self-defence.
The jury last week heard how Robinson had wiped a knife across his mouth and called out something like "your blood tastes sweet" to his victim.
They returned a guilty verdict yesterday on the seventh day of the trial.
Robinson could now be sentenced as early as this week, with a provisional sentencing date set for this Friday.
The Crown is expected to confirm the sentencing date today.
Robinson's conviction comes after an earlier trial was aborted in November last year when one of the jurors revealed they knew information about the case.
It can now also be revealed that the man who sparked the attack that ended with Mr Hadfield's death was sentenced to four months' home detention.
William Axl Stark, 23, punched Mr Hadfield through a car window and kicked his car door just moments before Robinson stabbed him. He then fled without offering any help as Mr Hadfield bled to death.
Details of Stark's offending were suppressed until the jury in the Robinson trial returned their verdict yesterday.
Stark, himself a father of two, was sentenced in the same courtroom in November last year after pleading guilty to charges of assault and intentional damage.
He instigated the fatal confrontation with a volley of abuse after he and Robinson were almost run over by Mr Hadfield's car as they stepped onto an intersection in the Lower Hutt suburb of Stokes Valley.
A heated exchange followed when Mr Hadfield reversed his car, lowered his window and gestured aggressively at the men.
Stark punched Mr Hadfield several times through the car window and kicked and kneed the car door.
Robinson joined in before stabbing Mr Hadfield in the chest.
At sentencing last year, Justice Ronald Young said he must sentence Stark for assault rather than Mr Hadfield's death.
"But of course part of what happened here was that this man died, and the effect on his family has been understandably catastrophic.
"The fact is that you played a part in the events that ultimately gave rise to the death of this man and that is, and should be, on your conscience."
The Crown had pushed for Stark to be sentenced to close to the maximum of one year in prison, to be served as home detention.
Prosecutor Kate Feltham submitted that Stark offered no help when it became clear Mr Hadfield was seriously injured and, although he could not be sentenced for the death, it should be taken into context.
Defence lawyer Bryan Yeoman submitted that Stark had already spent about six weeks in custody and a sentence of three months was appropriate.
Justice Young sentenced Stark to four months' home detention at his grandmother's house in Featherston, starting from November 12 last year - the same day that Robinson's first aborted murder trial began.
He took into account Stark's guilty plea and the time already spent in custody.
The address was deemed suitable after Child Youth and Family raised concerns about Stark serving the sentence at the house he shares with his partner and children.
Stark has two previous convictions for assault among his 25 convictions since 2006.