Days before his trial, Tony Brian Norman has pleaded guilty to kidnapping and murdering a 24-year-old woman in a car in a suburban Christchurch Street.
He entered the pleas at a very short, pre-trial session before Justice John Fogarty in the High Court in Christchurch today and has been remanded in custody for sentence next week.
Norman, 21, unemployed, stabbed his ex-partner Ariana Gabrielle Burgess to death on September 8. In a taped interview with the police he said he suspected her of infidelity and said, "I lost it and just did it."
The woman's two-year-old daughter was in the car at the time of the murder.
Crown prosecutor Brent Stanaway and defence counsel Tony Garrett were yesterday involved in pre-trial discussions, which led to Norman being remanded to today to consider his position.
He then entered guilty pleas to three charges: breaking into a house while armed with a knife, unlawfully detaining Miss Burgess, and murdering her.
At the depositions hearing, the court was told how the pair was living apart because he had been violent towards her.
That night, he had not been allowed into the friend's house where Miss Burgess was staying but he had stayed outside and slept in the boot of her car.
He told of watching people coming and going during the night, and he thought he heard her having sex when he listened at the door. "I could hear them laughing about me, too," he told the police.
He took the knife and broke in the next morning so that he could threaten her and make her give him money so that he could leave. He had none of his own.
He insisted they go for a drive, with her daughter in the car. They reached Osborne Street in Phillipstown and when Miss Burgess sounded the horn to get the attention of a council worker, he realised that his plan was over and stabbed her.
Pathologist Martin Sage told the depositions hearing in December that Miss Burgess's body had 50 external wounds and injuries. There were 17 stab wounds, including the fatal blow which penetrated her heart.
She had 32 blunt force injuries. One was a laceration and the rest were bruises. The bruises showed she had been subjected to at least one episode of prolonged and determined assault in the day before she was killed.
Norman left the scene of the killing but soon gave himself up to a passing police car, and made his video statement in which he admitted everything, later the same morning.