Kimberley White remembers her stepfather Greg Meads enforcing silent meals at the family dinner table as he watched television.

She also recalls rarely being allowed out of the house to catch up with her mates, the weekends of hard work on their Matamata farm and the feeling that her every move was being watched.

He was, she says, a "very cold, calculating and controlling" stepfather.

Yesterday, the 18-year-old was in the High Court in Hamilton as a jury declared Meads - a prominent horse breeder and trainer - guilty of the murder of her mother Helen on September 23 last year, four days after she had told him that their 10-year marriage was over.

Meads, 55, who shot his 42-year-old wife in the throat with a shotgun, showed no emotion as the verdict was delivered.

But Miss White, Mrs Meads' daughter from a previous relationship, was among relatives and friends who cheered and hugged each other at the outcome.

The trainee primary teacher smiled broadly and said "yes" loudly as the verdict was delivered.

"I think it's very much a relief to know that he is going to be away for a long time and he won't ever be able to interfere any more with us trying to move on with our lives," she said.

Miss White told the Herald she had no sympathy for her stepfather. She gave evidence during the murder trial, and said yesterday she was too afraid to make eye contact with him across the courtroom.

"Living with Greg it was silence at the dinner table while Greg watched TV," she said.

"He would never let Mum and I out of the house very much. I had to be home every day after school at a specific time and on weekends I was expected to be working on the farm with Mum.

"You couldn't hold a conversation with him unless it was about him or his horses. If something wasn't going to benefit him then he did not want to know."

Helen Meads eventually tired of the way she and her daughters were treated, Miss White said.

She tried to leave Meads in September 2008. He later told the court there were no apparent difficulties in their marriage.

"He just tried to control every move we made," said Miss White. "Mum just didn't want to have to put up with any of that and she wanted to get out."

Outside the court, Mrs Meads' father, David White, was consoled by one of the jurors.

He said the murder verdict was "very gratifying". "It still doesn't solve the problems we've now got, but it was the only one that was acceptable," he said.

"It's typical in this case of family violence ... I think there's some ludicrous number of women being killed by the husband or partner and Helen was one of them."

Mr White doubted Meads would ever accept responsibility for what he had done.

"As far as he is concerned, it was the gun that killed her and not him and he will carry on doing that, that's what he is like."

Mr White said Helen Meads' other daughter, Samantha, 10 - born to her and Greg Meads - was still trying to come to terms with what had happened.

But the family were "resting easy".

"We have got to a stage of her being as happy a 10-year-old girl you could get but she lives with the fact that daddy killed mummy and you try and accept that and explain that to anyone," he said.

"But she will have the opportunity to grow up without that controlling, dominating influence that he was inflicting on the whole family."

Meads will be sentenced in December.

At the trial, he denied murdering his wife, saying he never intended to fire the gun at her.

Crown and defence lawyers gave their closing addresses in the trial yesterday.

The Crown argued Meads' evidence during the trial was an attempt to "rewrite history".

Meads earlier told the jury he decided to confront his wife with a loaded shotgun in a desperate effort to uncover "the truth" behind their marriage break-up.

He arrived at the stables and found his wife on the phone. He waited for her to finish the call, then shot her once in the throat at close range.

The Crown said it was a controlled shooting and therefore murder, rather than manslaughter.

Meads' lawyer, Murray McKechnie, said his client had made a very foolish judgment to take a loaded shotgun into the stables, but he had never planned to harm or kill his wife.

Police yesterday urged anyone suffering the effects of family violence to seek help.

"Here we have a woman who has lost her life, children left without their mother and their father facing a long term of imprisonment," the officer in charge of the investigation, Detective Sergeant Rod Carpinter, said.

Police needed society to get behind the message that family violence was unacceptable.

Mr Carpinter said that on average, a woman was killed by her partner or ex-partner every five weeks in New Zealand.