Victim's girlfriend Millie Elder-Holmes says decision 'doesn’t bring you back' but brings some closure.
They were the words Julie Morris had waited a long time to hear - Michael Thrift Murray was guilty of the murder of her son Connor Morris.
Mrs Morris, who had been in court every day for the trial of the man who killed her son on August 3 last year, burst into tears and hugged her daughter, Cymmion, tightly.
Murray, 34, pleaded not guilty to Mr Morris' murder, but yesterday after a two-week trial in the High Court at Auckland a jury of eight men and four women were unanimous in their verdict. He was guilty.
Soon after hearing of the verdict by phone, Mr Morris' girlfriend Millie Elder-Holmes shared her thoughts on social media.
"We all knew it, glad the justice system came through for you baby @cnnrmrris cant believe I'm happy about something so sad, doesn't bring you back or change our reality now, doesn't change how much we all miss you ... but you got justice and for everyone who knew you it means a little bit of closure. #JusticeForConnor"
Mrs Morris and her daughter were supported in court by family and friends, among them members and associates of the Head Hunters gang. Mr Morris was a member and his father, Chris, a senior Head Hunter figure.
Chris Morris had also attended court every day but left after the jury retired to deliberate, preferring to hear the verdict by phone.
He posted a message on the Facebook page RIP Connor Morris, set up by the family as a tribute.
"Thank you everybody for the good wishes. My son Connor can now rest in peace," it said.
The gang connection played a large part in the trial, but yesterday Mrs Morris was there as a mother seeking justice for her child. None of the Morris family were ready to speak about the verdict yesterday.
But they stopped as they left the court building to thank police who had worked on the case.
In court, one of Mr Morris' relatives shouted to the jury "thank you from our family".
He was then hushed by court staff when he yelled across to the dock "Murray your time is coming".
Murray, flanked by four security guards, remained silent and still as the verdict was read. His eyes welled up but he did not cry.
Mr Morris died after a street fight broke out on Don Buck Rd in Massey last year. Murray saw Mr Morris assaulting his younger brother Stanley Popata-Murray. He swung a sickle "full force" at Mr Morris, hitting him in the side of the head. The impact broke the 26-year-old's skull, the blade penetrated his brain and he died almost instantly.
Murray claimed the strike was in defence of his brother and was not intended to injure, let alone kill, Mr Morris.
After hearing evidence from 46 Crown witnesses, and Murray and his brother for the defence, the jury found there was murderous intent at the time.
Murray, who was defended by Marie Dyhrberg and Kathryn Maxwell, will be sentenced next month. He was convicted of murder yesterday and given a warning under the three strikes law by Justice Edwin Wylie.
Detective Senior Sergeant Stan Brown, who led the investigation, said he would not be commenting until after Murray had been sentenced.