Brutal murder over false paedophilia accusation

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

A NSW man who brutally murdered a weak and disabled pensioner under the mistaken belief that he was a pedophile has been jailed for at least 22 years and six months.

Michael Peter Kaine, 50, was found guilty of murdering 62-year-old Dennis Griffin in his Newcastle unit in October 2011, by stabbing him dozens of times with a chicken boning knife, smashing a TV into his face and throwing two wardrobes on top of him.

Kaine had never met Mr Griffin before, but he believed a female acquaintance who "falsely and maliciously" accused Mr Griffin of being a pedophile.

Mr Griffin was described as a security conscious and "very private" person, who generally only ventured out to shop and to his local Waratah hotel for a glass of cola.

"Dennis Griffin was an innocent man who was brutally attacked with extreme violence in his own home and, given his age and very frail physical condition, he was completely incapable of defending himself," Justice Robert Allan Hulme told the Supreme Court at Newcastle on Friday.

Kaine denied murdering Mr Griffin and claimed the pensioner had lured him into the bedroom and indecently assaulted him.

This was rejected as "utterly incredible" and "preposterous" by Justice Hulme.

When Mr Griffin's body was discovered, he had suffered 18 stab wounds, including to the heart, 18 slash wounds, and fractures to his eye sockets, jaw and skull.

Setting a maximum sentence of 30 years, Justice Hulme said he did not believe Kaine was remorseful.

As a victim impact statement was read out in court, Kaine showed "complete disinterest", the judge noted.

"The offender sought to exact punishment upon a man on the basis of unsubstantiated hearsay," Justice Hulme said.

"And he got it so terribly, terribly wrong and killed an innocent man."

Taking into account time already served, Kaine will be eligible for parole in June 2034.

-AAP

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