Rex Prole, the Tauranga builder who stabbed his estranged wife Robyn to death with a kitchen knife has been sentenced to life in prison.

The details of Robyn Anne Prole's death on July 20, 2012, were revealed after her 65-year-old husband pleaded guilty to her murder in Rotorua High Court on April 9 this year.

Today, in the same court, Justice Kit Toogood sentenced Prole to life, with a non-parole period of 11 years and six months.

He described the killing as "particularly brutal'' and twice expressed his condolences to Mrs Prole's family and a neighbour who witnessed the stabbing.


The couple, who had been married two years, had lived together in Bell St, Judea until April 2012 when Mrs Prole - a teacher aide at Brookfield Primary School _ moved out to live with friends after reporting a domestic violence incident to police.

A protection order against her husband was issued three months before the murder.

Mrs Prole regularly returned to the house to collect her mail.

About 2pm on July 20, as she sat in her car looking through her mail, Mr Prole grabbed a kitchen knife, approached her vehicle and yelled at her through the open window. He then reached inside, grabbed her and repeatedly stabbed her in the throat, chest and stomach.

Mrs Prole screamed out that she loved her husband and tried to flee but he continued to attack.

Despite police officers' attempts to revive her, Mrs Prole died before an ambulance arrived.