Anne Elizabeth McCulloug
Matthew Kinghorn ripped the heart out of a family "and
created a void that can never be filled" when he ran down a
woman jogger with the intention of sexually assaulting her, a
judge said today.
Anne Elizabeth McCullough, 45, was run over by Kinghorn on
October 20 last year and died on the back seat of his car
before he could do anything to her.
That was one reason he didn't get the maximum non-parole life
sentence of 17 to 25 years when he appeared for sentencing in
the High Court at New Plymouth today for murder.
He did receive a warning under the three-strikes law.
Although the Crown tried for the toughest penalty, Kinghorn,
28 - who pleaded guilty in October - was given a life
sentence with a minimum period of 13 years before he can be
considered for parole.
Justice Rodney Hansen decided that grievous though Kinghorn's
crime was, it did not meet the requirements of Section 104 of
the Sentencing Act pertaining to maximum non-parole periods.
The Crown had argued Kinghorn killed Mrs McCullough in the
course of another serious offence, forcing sex on her. But
Justice Hansen said while Kinghorn's intentions may have been
clear, the fact he did not actually touch the victim in a
sexual way ruled out the use of that remedy.
He settled on 15 years as the minimum period of jail to be
served, but discounted that by two years to recognise
Kinghorn guilty plea, his remorse and other factors.
Earlier, the court heard victim impact reports from Mrs
McCullough's family, including two sisters, 17-year-old son
Ollie and husband Jeff.
Mrs McCullough was a devoted wife and mother, much loved by
her family and friends, the judge said.
"Your actions have ripped the heart out of this family and
left a void that will never be filled," he told Kinghorn.
"The reports speak for themselves. The words of the victims
are the most eloquent testimony to the pain and the loss they
"The terrible shock of her death and the abiding pain of her
loss permeates every page of the reports."
Justice Hansen said Kinghorn's actions followed a night of
Around 1pm, he was driving on Frankley Rd when he saw Mrs
McCullough walking on the grass verge.
He turned the car around and headed back towards her, at the
last second swerving onto the verge at a speed between 27km/h
and 36km/h, initially striking her on her legs.
He stopped the car, picked her up and placed her on the back
Mrs McCullough was unconscious and suffered injuries to her
head and brain, spine, chest wall and limbs. She died between
three minutes and an hour after the impact, the judge said.
After driving his purple Holden Commodore along various
country roads outside New Plymouth, Kinghorn eventually
abandoned the vehicle to go to a nearby house to ask the
occupant to phone police and his mother.
- By Jim Tucker