Israel Kaihau has pleaded not guilty to the murder of
Robert Murray Wilkinson. Photo / Christine Cornege
A man accused of killing expatriate New Zealander Robert
Wilkinson has been found not guilty of murder but guilty of
Israel Kaihau, 19 of Waihi, had been on trial in the High
Court at Hamilton over Mr Wilkinson's death
Kaihau stabbed the 64-year-old man in the left side of the
head after Mr Wilkinson told him to get off the Waihi Beach
property he was holidaying at on January 1 this year.
He told the court he reacted instinctively after Mr Wilkinson
stood on his injured leg when he tried to wake him.
Mr Wilkinson died in hospital two days later.
Kaihau smiled and looked at family members in the public
gallery as the jury of six men and six women deliberated for
a little over three hours before delivering their unanimous
verdict finding him guilty of manslaughter.
Justice Robert Dobson remanded Kaihau in custody for
sentencing date likely to be in November.
Earlier, Crown prosecutor Ross Douch said Kaihau was an
"inherently unreliable" witness who had "lied and lied and
Kaihau had tried to hide evidence that would implicate
himself in the killing, and a week later he tried to fool a
Waihi detective into believing his bogus alibi that he was at
home at the time of the incident, Mr Douch told the court.
"In the face of mounting evidence he remained steadfast,
becoming even belligerent or indignant, at the proposition
that gives you an indication of how far he will go."
Mr Douch said despite Kaihau's argument that he reacted
instinctively when he claimed Mr Wilkinson stood on his
injured leg, he did not let out a yell in pain.
"Isn't that funny that was without a sound ... all Mrs
Wilkinson heard was her husband then this terrible bang."
"There was no yelp, no cursing ... isn't that remarkable that
he suffered in silence ?"
He said Kaihau was carrying a knife that "wasn't a toy or
innocuous" and his level of intoxication was not so bad that
he would be "incapable to realise" that it was not a
The knife, which has not been recovered, was believed to have
been at least 8.5cm in length and 3.5cm in width at its
By targeting Mr Wilkinson's head he could only have had
But Kaihau's lawyer Paul Mabey QC said his client was not on
trial for lying to police or hiding evidence and a
manslaughter verdict should be returned.
Mr Mabey said the evidence showed Kaihau was in a happy mood
on the evening in question, and there was no suggestion prior
to his altercation with Mr Wilkinson that he was aggressive
or looking for trouble.
"How does a happy, drunken young boy become a cold blooded
killer because a householder says to him 'I'm going to report