A former sex worker who stabbed her lover in the shower, leaving him to bleed to death, after an argument about him continuing to visit prostitutes, was today jailed for life with a minimum non-parole term of 10 years.

Dionne Liza Neale, 39, now a hairdresser, of Beachhaven, on Auckland's North Shore, was found guilty by a High Court jury in Auckland on May 15 of murdering print production manager Reece John Shadbolt, 38, in February 2007.

She was also found guilty of causing intentional damage to his car.

Sentencing Neale, Justice Graham Lang said she had caused havoc and disaster to the Shadbolt family.

"This is also a disaster and tragedy for you," he told Neale.

Reece Shadbolt's mother, Linda Joy West, told the court in a victim impact statement she was informed of her son's death by police.

"I got a terrible pain in my chest like half my heart was broken. I could feel the air being sucked out of me and I started to shake uncontrollably," she said.

She said her son Reece was a "special gift to me from the day he was born".

"Reece was such a fun-loving person who always wanted to try something new," Mrs West said.

He excelled at rugby and won both sporting and academic awards at school.

He had a wide circle of friends and liked to socialise.

Mrs West said he son worked in the advertising industry, and was a studio manager in Parnell. He was also a keen golfer.

She told the court he was in a relationship with the offender for about eight months, when she started to get a gut feeling that something wasn't right.

"Her behaviour was bizarre, intense and needy and she wanted to be accepted.

"She changed the dynamics of our family. Family members suffered depression and nightmares, and two miscarriages attributed to stress.

"I have been in hospital with stress-related pneumonia."

Neale's lawyer Barry Hart said he would be appealing against the conviction.

"It's been a tragedy. She's just an ordinary, regular, really nice person and it's a tragedy in respect of her and the deceased," Mr Hart said.

During the four-week trial, which started on April 20, the court heard the pair met in Mustangs Gentlemen's Club, where Neale was working as a prostitute.

Crown prosecutor Kevin Glubb said the relationship developed but they broke up some time later when a business they had invested in collapsed.

They remained in an on-again, off-again relationship and Neale helped Mr Shadbolt move into his new apartment in 2007.

Shortly after, she visited and demanded to know if he had been visiting prostitutes, Mr Glubb said.

He finally admitted he was.

On the morning of February 6, Waitangi Day, Neale returned to his apartment.

They had a cup of tea together, then while Mr Shadbolt was taking a shower she took a knife and stabbed him in the chest, Mr Glubb said.

- NZPA