WARNING: DISTURBING CONTENT

A double-killer who savagely raped and murdered a young Christchurch woman 24 years after he first killed an ex-girlfriend in a chillingly similar case has today been sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 28 years.

Paul Pounamu Tainui, aka Paul Russell Wilson, 55, will be at least 83 before he can even be considered for a release from jail.

Wilson lay in wait for eight hours overnight before 27-year-old Nicole Marie Tuxford arrived back at her Merivale home in April last year. Wilson, a groomsman at David Bain's wedding, earlier pleaded guilty to the life coach's murder and rape.

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Nicole Tuxford was killed in her Merivale home in April last year. Photo / File
Nicole Tuxford was killed in her Merivale home in April last year. Photo / File

The shocking news that Wilson committed a second murder – 24 years after he murdered former girlfriend Kimberly Schroder in Hokitika – was too much for Schroder's father.

Gary James Schroder, 67, died in a suspected suicide just hours after Wilson made his first court appearance on April 10 last year.

Today, Wilson refused to look Tuxford's grieving loved ones as they read aloud emotional victim impact statements in a packed courtroom at the High Court in Christchurch.

Nicole's sister Jess Tuxford demanded that he look at her while she spoke.

But he refused, unmoved, keeping his eyes averted throughout.

Jess Tuxford described him as a "monster of a man", "scum" and "savage".

She noted it wasn't the first time Wilson had taken an innocent life of women who rejected his advances.

While her sister Nicole will always be remembered and loved, she told Wilson that he would never be loved, and he would be forgotten.

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"You will be surrounded by darkness," she said.

Tuxford's loved ones slammed the Parole Board's decision to release Wilson back into the community.

Her partner Clay Saunders told Wilson he was a "role model for bringing back the death penalty".

Groomsman Paul Wilson, left, with newly married couple David Bain, right, and Liz Davies, centre, after their wedding ceremony in Christchurch. Photo / Supplied
Groomsman Paul Wilson, left, with newly married couple David Bain, right, and Liz Davies, centre, after their wedding ceremony in Christchurch. Photo / Supplied

It was evident that the system was broken, her mother Cherie Gillatt said, for Wilson to be allowed back into society to commit such atrocious crimes twice.

She called Wilson a "worthless coward" and a liar.

"I hope you rot," she said.

Crown prosecutor Pip Currie said it was an appropriate case for life without parole to be imposed for the first time in New Zealand.

If the judge rejected that argument, the Crown was pushing for life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period in the vicinity of 30–32 years.

Currie described it as a "frenzied, concerted… savage" premeditated attack clearly intended to kill Tuxford in her own home, where "she should've been safe, somewhere where she should've been able to come home to".

Wilson was someone who Tuxford regarded as a friend and someone who, "quite ironically", was someone that she was trying to help.

The extent of harm to two "absolutely broken families", including the "re-traumatised" Schroder family, has been "unimaginable and something that no family should have to experience", Currie said.

Wilson has now killed two young women in what were almost identical planned, revenge attacks fueled by obsession and rejection.

There are "chilling similarities", Currie said, with Wilson in both cases lying in wait, restraining and gagging his victims, before sexually assaulting them and then cutting their throats.

Pre-sentence psych reports highlighted disturbing comments by Wilson, with one noting that he demonstrated a lack of remorse and "hatred for his victim". A "pathological liar", he even showed "some pleasure" in recounting his offending.

One report writer said Wilson was unable to hide his "sense of gratification" over the sense of notoriety he will gain, adding that he showed a "profound lack of remorse for victims and their families".

Jess Tuxford speaks at the sentencing hearing. Photo / Dean Purcell
Jess Tuxford speaks at the sentencing hearing. Photo / Dean Purcell

His violence in both cases was callous and cold, with sadistic elements, "meted out to punish, degrade and humiliate.

Currie cited a report that said Wilson's current level of very high risk should be considered "enduring".

All of the expert reports paint a disturbing picture of Wilson, Currie said, with the only safe option being for Wilson to remain in prison for the rest of his life.
Defence counsel Ruth Buddicom said there was a strong likelihood that Tainui would spend the rest of his life in prison irrespective of which sentence was imposed.

Courts can't undo the dreadful wrongs, Buddicom said, but life without parole, even considering the "horrific and appalling" offending, should not be imposed over a sentence with a lengthy minimum period of imprisonment.

Justice Cameron Mander told Wilson his offending has had a profound impact on both the Tuxford, and Schroder, families.

The Tuxford family, the judge said, has been left "bewildered and wrecked" by how such hateful violence could be directed to their gentle and caring Nicole. Justice Mander said she was remembered as a beautiful, kind and happy young woman who sought to see the good in everyone, extending that good to Wilson.

Tuxford's callous, brutal murder was calculated, planned and carried out in cold blood, Justice Mander said.

The sadistic and depraved rape was no doubt designed to see Ms Tuxford suffer, he said.

"It must have been a terrifying ordeal for Ms Tuxford as she fought for her life."

Victim statement from victims partner Clay Saunders, supported by Jess Tuxford, Nicole's sister. Photo / Dean Purcell
Victim statement from victims partner Clay Saunders, supported by Jess Tuxford, Nicole's sister. Photo / Dean Purcell

There was nothing remarkable about Wilson's childhood or schooling, the court heard. He reported being the victim of abuse as a child, but that is unconfirmed, and Justice Mander noted that Wilson has been known to be an unreliable historian. He rejected his claims of remorse.

After "very anxious consideration", Justice Mander concluded that a minimum period of 28 years' imprisonment is sufficient to meet the purposes of sentencing and to protect the community. He also sentenced Wilson to preventive detention on the rape charge.

Wilson was convicted and jailed in 1995 for the rape and murder of Kimberly Jean Schroder in Hokitika the previous May.

A 31-year-old sickness beneficiary at the time, Wilson visited Schroder's flat and tied up her male flatmate.

When his girlfriend came home, he cut her hands during a confrontation, before cutting off her jeans and raping her.

He then stabbed her in the neck after she made comments about relationships with other men.

Wilson was sentenced to 15 years non-parole, though on appeal that was reduced to 13 years.

His parole was granted at his fifth time of asking in December 2010, with his behaviour described as "exemplary and faultless".

Wilson appears at his sentencing hearing. Photo / Dean Purcell
Wilson appears at his sentencing hearing. Photo / Dean Purcell

Wilson was released in January 2011 into a residential programme included at least one year of intensive therapy.

His release conditions also permanently banned him from visiting the West Coast or contacting the Schroder family, and he is subject to the "standard conditions" of parole for life, which includes recall to prison if he is deemed an "undue risk to the safety of the community".

The admission of a second murder prompted an independent review to see if the Parole Board was right to release Wilson from prison.

Wilson has spent the past few years living and working in Christchurch.

He had been living in a tidy, red-brick townhouse in the Aranui area of the city.

He left at around 6am every weekday for his job at a scrap metal merchants on the other side of Christchurch.

His 27-year-old victim Nicole Marie Tuxford had just embarked on a new career as a life coach and spiritual guide when she was killed at her home in the upmarket Christchurch suburb of Merivale, near Hagley Park, on April 7 last year.

Tuxford had been training for two years with the Phoenix Light Foundation to become a life coach.

The High Court at Christchurch heard how Wilson and Tuxford had known each other for about a year before the murder.

They had socialised together in the same circles and Tuxford told her mother that she "felt sorry for him" and wanted to help him out with some life coaching.

But early last year, Wilson said he wanted a sexual relationship.

Tuxford's life coach suggested that she pull away and reduce contact with the man.

On March 24, she invited him over for a chat and a drink for a set period of 90 minutes.

Wilson told her he wanted to spend more time with her but she made it clear that it would only be for that timeframe.

Two days later, he sent her a text message saying that he'd found out she was in a relationship with another male and that he felt "p***** off" and lied to.

On April 6, Tuxford stayed at her partner's house across town.

Meanwhile, her killer spent the night drinking at his local bar.

At around 9pm, he drove to Tuxford's house. She did not reply to his text messages or pick up his calls.

On the way, Wilson was stopped by a police booze bus and failed a drink-drive test.

Police took his keys and he was issued a court summons. He was not allowed to take with him two large knives locked in the car's boot.

Wilson got a taxi to Tuxford's house.

He lay in wait for eight hours overnight before she got home at around 7.40am.

As Tuxford entered her Exeter St home, the convicted killer pounced on her.

Her screams were heard by neighbours as he overpowered her and took her captive in a spare bedroom. He pulled the curtains and shut the door.

An electrician then turned up for a scheduled appointment and walked around the house trying to see if anyone was home.

Tuxford tried to fight him off and bite him, while he punched her in the face.
Trying to silence her and keep from raising the alarm with the electrician, who could hear muffled noises coming from inside the house, Wilson gagged her with the scarf.

He raped her, then strangled her, breaking her thyroid cartilage, before he cut her throat multiple times with a large knife, "almost severing her head from her body", the court heard.

The killer took off in her car, wearing one of her hats.

He then had a medical event or seizure and crashed nearby. Unresponsive, he was taken to hospital.

Meanwhile, the electrician returned to the Exeter St house, worried about Tuxford.

He climbed in through a window and found her dead on the floor.

The electrician phoned police and they caught up with the man at Christchurch Hospital, where he admitted the killing.

The shocking news that Wilson had killed again was too much for Schroder's father.

Gary James Schroder, 67, died in a suspected suicide just hours after Wilson made his first court appearance on April 10 last year.

While Wilson earlier admitted murdering Tuxford, he had denied a charge of rape.

However, last month he pleaded guilty to rape.

When David Bain wed primary school teacher Liz Davies at a winery outside Christchurch in January 2014, Wilson was his groomsman.

The killer was part of a three-man bridal party, which also included long-term Bain champion Joe Karam's sons Matthew and Richard.

Bain and Wilson met while working in the prison kitchen, a former inmate who shared a cell with Bain said.

Nancy Schroder, the mother of Wilson's first victim, told the Herald in January 2014 that it made her "bloody sick" to learn the killer was out celebrating while the family continued to grieve.

The family had strongly opposed Wilson's parole and doubted his remorse.

"I heard they had shared a cell ... and now he's out celebrating. The murdering bastard. It makes you bloody sick."