Natalie Akoorie

Natalie Akoorie is a reporter at the NZ Herald based in Hamilton.

Waihi Beach teen sentenced

Israel Kaihau. File photo
Israel Kaihau. File photo

The teenager convicted of fatally stabbing Robert Wilkinson at Waihi Beach on New Year's Day has been sent to jail for a minimum of four years.

Israel Kaihau, 19, of Waihi, was sentenced in the High Court at Hamilton this afternoon by Justice Robert Dobson after he was last month found guilty of manslaughter.

Mr Wilkinson, an expatriate New Zealander, was stabbed in the side of the head by Kaihau when he asked the teen to leave the Waihi Beach property he and his wife Luise were holidaying at in the early hours of January 1.

The 64-year-old's son Daniel Wilkinson told the court Kaihau's violent actions had a devastating and lifelong impact, taking the life of his best mate, fishing buddy and the man he looked up to for guidance.

"How can you impress on the people what it is like to hold your father and watch him die in your arms?"

He said Kaihau deprived his children of their grandfather and his family of their father, husband and uncle, and he was unsatisfied with the trial outcome.

The house where the killing took place had belonged to Daniel Wilkinson's in-laws for 21 years but they would now sell it because they no longer felt safe or happy in their home.

In a victim impact statement from Luise Wilkinson, read out by Crown prosecutor Ross Douch in her absence, the court heard Mr Wilkinson's killing had left her shattered.

She said it was so hard to fathom that the couple had travelled and lived in many far flung locations but it was in New Zealand, a country Mr Wilkinson loved, that he lost his life, and to a "fellow countryman".

Mrs Wilkinson said the "agony" of watching her husband's brain dead body shut down in hospital over three days was unforgettable and "unforgivable".

She suffered "excruciating loneliness" which was forced on her "in a few selfish seconds".

Kaihau's lawyer Paul Mabey QC said Kaihau only meant to stab Mr Wilkinson in the arm but Justice Dobson said he did not accept that.

"Mr Wilkinson was a stranger to you. He posed no threat. You stabbed him and left him to die."

Justice Dobson said the knife Kaihau used was not a "boy's toy", but a "lethal weapon" and he believed Kaihau lunged at Mr Wilkinson to avoid being caught by police on the private property, because he was on bail and under curfew for previous offences.

These included charges for injuring with intent to injure and assaulting a female twice, in July and December 2012 respectively.

He said Kaihau, from a dysfunctional family with a violent father in prison, had not shown remorse.

Justice Dobson directed Kaihau to begin the eight years and one month sentence after he received parole on a two year seven month sentence for the earlier convictions.

- NZ Herald

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