Julieta Hurenga Beattie threatened to stab her partner during an argument over drinks.

Minutes later, Richard Kire Bristow was dead after a boning knife penetrated 16cm into his chest. He died in his kitchen after telling a family member that Beattie had stabbed him.

Beattie, 47, was sentenced by the High Court in Whangārei yesterday to three years in prison on a charge of manslaughter.

Bristow's family packed the public gallery, some of whom stormed out in frustration and shouted obscenities at the length of the sentence.


The pair had argued at Bristow's home in Moerewa on September 16 last year. The police statement of facts stated Bristow told Beattie, during an argument while both were drinking, to take her car and kids and leave the house.

Her family became involved from the next-door property and encouraged her to leave in an attempt to de-escalate the situation.

She refused to leave and while being physically pulled away from Bristow's house, she managed to break free and ran back to continue the argument.

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When Bristow closed the front door of his house, she smashed the glass panel and he retaliated by striking her in the face causing her nose to bleed profusely.

Julieta exited her vehicle and said: "I am gonna stab you" before she ran inside his house and uplifted a boning knife.

She waved the knife around and said: "I am going to f***** stab him. You don't hit me you c***. You hit me and I'll stab you."

Bristow replied: "Go on, f*** you. You can f*** off."


As both went into the kitchen, Beattie stabbed him twice and the knife penetrated 16cm into his chest.

His daughter Ngareta Bristow was among family members who read their victim impact statements in court and called for justice for their whanau.

Outside court, she described a three-year prison term as f***** bull*** that would bring absolutely no closure to her suffering family.

"I was expecting 10 years or five-plus years but three f***** years for stabbing someone. She gets out in three years and sees her kids and grandchildren.

"I think this sentence is going to cause drama between both families," she said.

The house belonging to Richard Bristow where he was stabbed to death by his partner after an argument. Photo / Peter de Graaf
The house belonging to Richard Bristow where he was stabbed to death by his partner after an argument. Photo / Peter de Graaf

Crown solicitor Mike Smith said the harm caused by Bristow's death went far beyond just a man's life and was far-reaching.

Defence lawyer Catherine Cull said Beattie was deeply remorseful for her actions and understood in all likelihood that she was going to prison.

Justice Paul Davison said Beattie had had time to think about her actions and people had tried to calm the situation but she ended up stabbing Bristow.

He said she had been physically and sexually abused while growing up in a rural community with a lot of neglect and raised her five children without any child support payments.

Beattie would be eligible for parole after one year.