The man found guilty of the manslaughter of a 15-year-old tagger has been sentenced to four years three months in jail.
Bruce Emery stabbed Pihema Cameron after he caught him tagging his home in Manurewa in January last year.
Emery argued he had been defending himself during the incident in January 2008.
His lawyer Chris Comesky said at the time of his conviction that he would seek to keep Emery out of jail. Emery has been held in custody for the past two months leading up to today's sentencing.
Mr Comesky applied for home detention but this was denied by Judge Hugh Williams who said: "Home detention is not the equivalent of prison."
The starting point for sentencing in a case where one person stabs another was five to seven years imprisonment, but with mitigating factors it can be reduced to three-and-half to four years.
Justice Williams added he was unable to find a case of this nature.
He said the fact that a knife was used was serious. People did not realise that a blade the width of a credit card could kill someone.
But there were mitigating factors, including Emery's "family standing" and that he supported himself in the community.
Letters written to the court, the public's opinion - both for and against tagging - and media coverage were not taken into account during Emery's sentencing.
Justice Williams said in a pre-sentencing statement that Mr Emery felt "very angry" but "Mr Cameron's death goes against what you were brought up with and what you believe".
Today, Emery's wife was sitting in the front row of the High Court in Auckland with a small contingent of friends and family.
Pihema Cameron's mother Leanne was also in the courtroom with a number of supporters, many of whom were wearing T-shirts with a photo of the victim and the words "in loving memory".
She said in a victim impact statement she read out in court that she was working in Perth at the time to support her family. "Not a day goes by when I don't cry about my son. This man who killed my son had 300m to stop and think about what could have been."
"I've never felt so much hatred for a person to what I feel towards this man," Ms Cameron said.
"He destroyed and broke up my family over a bit of paint."
She said she was serving "a life sentence" with the loss of her son.
Godmother and aunt of Mr Cameron, Fracine Harrison, described the night she was told that Mr Cameron had died.
"Everyone in my home was screaming, wailing and absolutely hysterical," Ms Harrison said.
She said she wanted to take the place of her nephew and couldn't be with him after he had died.
"We had to watch him being wheeled out on television," she said.
Dean Harrison, 16, told the court he was at the "lowest point I could go."
"He meant the world to me, we were known as the musketeers of the family," Mr Harrison said.
Earlier Crown prosecutor Aaron Perkins summed the case up.
"The simple fact is that the prisoner stabbed a 15-year-old boy in response to the tagging of his garage."
Mr Perkins said a term of imprisonment was "undoubtedly required."
Mr Comesky said there was no doubt that the killing was a tragedy but said his client was remorseful.
He said there was a lot of extremely negative "ill-feeling in court" after the victim's impact statement were read out.
He said the case had polarised public opinion and his client had received sympathy.
He said Emery was confronted by two people wearing hoodies and that was the reason he "unwisely" picked up a knife.
He said at the end of the chase punches were thrown, but was corrected by Justice Williams who said there was no such evidence.
Mr Comesky said his client had three young children and was an upstanding member of the public who had no prior criminal record.
Pihema and a friend, 16, had been tagging properties and Emery thought they had tagged his garage door. He chased them for more than 300m then confronted the pair.
Pihema died within minutes of being stabbed in the chest with a kitchen knife Emery carried.
- with NZ HERALD STAFF