Rob Kidd is a NZME. News Service court reporter based in Auckland.

Business partner sent back to jail in attempted murder trial could be out in July

Martin Victor Lyttelton, 57, was found guilty at a March trial of the attempted murder of Richard Ord and causing grievous bodily harm to Mr Ord's partner, Colleen Fenton. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Martin Victor Lyttelton, 57, was found guilty at a March trial of the attempted murder of Richard Ord and causing grievous bodily harm to Mr Ord's partner, Colleen Fenton. Photo / Brett Phibbs

An Auckland man who tried to kill his former business partner will spend more than six weeks in prison, the Parole Board has confirmed.

Martin Victor Lyttelton, 57, was found guilty at a March trial of the attempted murder of Richard Ord and causing grievous bodily harm to Mr Ord's partner, Colleen Fenton, with intent to injure her in April 2008.

He was also convicted on a charge of aggravated burglary of the couple's North Shore house.

In 2010, Lyttelton pleaded guilty to the charges and was jailed for nearly six years.

However, after serving that entire sentence -- almost half of which he was on parole -- the defendant took his case to the Court of Appeal in a bid to clear his name.

The court granted his appeal at the end of 2014 but this year a jury rejected Lyttelton's defence of mental illness combined with his excessive drug consumption.

In the High Court at Auckland last week, Justice Raynor Asher sentenced him to seven years in prison but, because of the time spent behind bars, it was thought Lyttelton may be there for a matter of days.

The Parole Board confirmed today though that it will only be July when he next has a chance of early release.

At the most, he will be imprisoned for 13 months.

The court heard how Lyttelton and Mr Ord were business partners for some years before their relationship began to sour in 2000.

By 2008, the defendant had become depressed and consumed by the dispute, Justice Asher said.

Lyttelton turned up at the victims' property with a loaded .410 shotgun, spare shells and a skinning knife.

He shot Ms Fenton in the leg before Mr Ord confronted him.

A skirmish saw the shotgun discharged into a wall and the pair struggled downstairs and into the garage where Lyttelton unsheathed the knife and continued the attack on the man.

"You were attempting to kill him in any way you could through that struggle," the judge said.

The jury rejected the defence that his judgment was "completely clouded" by his mental illness and the residual effects of the drugs.

The court heard the victims lives had been forever altered by the incident, especially that of Ms Fenton after sustaining a "very large hole" in her left thigh.

"There are still pellets in her body that can't be removed and clips to clamp off veins where the artery was shot away," Justice Asher said.

She would be permanently weakened, he said.

- NZ Herald

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