As Martin Marinovich was jailed for life for murdering his mother, family and friends were overcome with emotion that two lives had been lost.

On February 7 last year, the young man snapped and murdered his mother Noeleen Ann Marinovich in the small West Auckland home the pair shared.

It was a frenzied attack that involved strangulation and hammer blows to the head.

Today, he was sentenced in the High Court at Auckland by Justice Tracey Walker to life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 14 years.

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Janet Daniel told the court that over the course of a 40-year friendship she had become a close confidante to Noeleen.

Her friend had struggled when she became pregnant, overcome by troubles when the Catholic Church sent the father to Canada, she said.

"Noeleen loved Martin, she truly loved and worshipped the ground he walked on as a child."

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The last time she saw her friend was in the hospital and she noticed the many bruises she had suffered from falls.

Noeleen was incontinent, suffered from angina and was unsteady on her feet.

Living in her Oratia home with Martin, the pair had been dependant on her sickness benefit.

Martin would take care of the shopping, pay the bills, help her in the bathroom and even dyed her hair, which was a job she used to manage by herself.

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At the hospital, the young man confided in Janet that he was not coping with the heavy burden of caring for his mother.

"I knew he couldn't care for her," Janet said.

"I believe the hospital didn't care ... she should have been sent to a rest home."

Janet, who feels she is like a grandmother to Martin, worried she was on "borrowed time" and feared that when he was eventually released from prison there would be nobody to help him.

"He will be alone in this world. He will have no one else in this world.

"This is the true tragedy of what happened. Two people who truly loved each other, who were devoted to each other, have lost their lives."

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Noeleen's brother Mate Marinovich, who lived on the same Carter Rd property as his sister and nephew, told the court the emotional harm he had suffered was indescribable.

"It has been harrowing. My life has been turned upside down from the minute the police officer knocked on my door."

He had never before experienced the kind of loneliness he now felt, he said.

"We were the best of mates," he said of his sister.

They were going to grow old together and had joked she would bring flowers to his grave.

"Now I do that for her."

Mate had felt a sense of betrayal but also suffered through "the hell" of the court process as the trial had left him with nightmares, the court heard.

He did not want his nephew condemned to a long prison sentence but rather would have been happy with the young man being electronically monitored.

Mate said the young man's father had played a "large hand" in what had happened.

Martin Marinovich's trial began in the High Court at Auckland on February 17, 2020, more than a year after his mother's death. Photo / File
Martin Marinovich's trial began in the High Court at Auckland on February 17, 2020, more than a year after his mother's death. Photo / File