Drunk on two litres of red wine, with years of resentment bubbling inside him, an Auckland grandfather laid out three knives in preparation for his wife's return from church.

When she got home, Mataafa Taoipu Ae picked up one of the weapons and chased her as she fled down the street.

"Even as she took refuge in a stranger's home, you continued the pursuit, determined to hunt her down," Justice Simon Moore said.

"You cornered her in the sunroom and in front of several eye witnesses, forced her to the ground, knelt over her and began to stab her in the head."


The 66-year-old - who had no previous convictions - was jailed for six and half years before the High Court at Auckland this morning after admitting charges of attempted murder and breaching a protection order.

Shortly after the attack, Ae was found by police and told them he had been "100-per-cent committed" to killing his wife of 10 years.

In a later interview with probation he admitted their relationship had been rocky but also described it as "beautiful".

Ae expressed the wish to continue the relationship once he had finished his jail term, but his lawyer Kahungunu Barron-Afeaki today told the court that was not the case.

He just wanted the opportunity to apologise to the victim, he said.

Justice Moore accepted the defendant was "sincerely remorseful" but highlighted troubling aspects of a pre-sentence report in which he minimised his behaviour.

"It was just a butter knife," Ae had said.

On August 1 last year, he sat at his Manurewa home drinking while his wife was at church.

"You thought, you smouldered on what it was you intended to do to your wife," said Justice Moore.

"Obviously those thoughts developed into an obsession because you began to think about how you might commit violence against her."

After several phone calls, she returned to be confronted by her intoxicated and enraged partner.

Ae followed her down the road into a stranger's home and rained down blows on her with the knife.

The victim suffered seven lacerations to her hands and arms, two to her face, four to her scalp and nearly lost a finger.

Photos of her in hospital after being stitched up were "horrific", Justice Moore said.

Originally from Samoa, Ae tragically lost his first wife, with whom he had seven children, in a traffic accident.

In a letter to the court, some of those children expressed their love for the defendant and described the offending as out of character.

"Domestic violence, in all its forms, is a scourge on our community," Justice Moore said.

"[It] not be tolerated in our community and the courts should reflect this in the penalties they impose."

The judge refused to impose a minimum non-parole period citing Ae's medical issues, his age and previous clean record.