Body-on-the-hill murder: Jailed for helping dispose of body

By Nick walker

Matthew Stevens. Photo / Supplied
Matthew Stevens. Photo / Supplied

The third and final person involved in the brutal murder of Matthew Stevens has been jailed for five years and one month.

Darrin Wilkie-Morris has been sentenced in the High Court in Wellington today, after admitting charges of injuring with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and helping dispose of Matthew Stevens' body.

Mr Stevens was lured to a Lower Hutt flat in late November 2014 by Kelly Crook, who was in a relationship with Wilkie-Morris.

Read more:• Big Read: The body-on-the-hill murder

Matthew had previously been threatened by Wilkie-Morris and another man, Stuart Wilton, and only agreed to go to the flat after Crook assured him the pair were out of town.

In fact, they were driving around Lower Hutt, and when Mr Stevens arrived, Crook sent a text telling them he was there.

On arriving, Wilkie-Morris attacked Mr Stevens with a hammer, hitting him in the head and knee.

Wilton lunged at him with a knife, stabbing and killing him.

The group loaded Mr Stevens' body into a car, which Crook drove with Wilkie-Morris to Paekakariki Hill.

Wilton followed in Mr Stevens' van, and together they dumped the body and van off the side of the road.

They then returned to the flat to clean up blood and dispose of evidence.

Wilton was last year sentenced to 11 years in jail for murder, while Crook was last week jailed for three years and four months for wounding and accessory after the fact to murder.

The trio had initially all been charged with murder.

Crook and Wilkie-Morris pleaded guilty to the lesser charges after Wilton admitted the murder, however none have ever offered an explanation.

In sentencing Wilkie-Morris, Justice Denis Clifford said he had showed no remorse.

"I hope, perhaps optimistically, one day you will show some human remorse for what you did."

Wilkie-Morris stood defiantly throughout the sentencing with his chin raised, showing no emotion or reaction.

Justice Clifford said Wilkie-Morris had a history of violent offending.

Wilkie-Morris had been convicted for aggravated robbery and wounding in 2010, and in 2007 was convicted for kidnapping, aggravated robbery and assault.

Family and supporters of Matthew Stevens were not at the sentencing, though Justice Clifford noted the violent and pointless nature of the killing, and the disrespectful was his body was dumped, had had a profound effect on them.

- Newstalk ZB

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