One mother's pain at losing
her daughter was matched by another mother's anger at losing
her son, as the man found guilty of murdering and kidnapping
Hamilton woman Rae Portman was sentenced today to at least 21
years in jail.
Ms Portman, a slightly built 32-year-old who was four months'
pregnant, was strangled to death at an industrial site in
In the High Court at Auckland, the man a jury found
responsible, Paraire 'Friday' Te Awa, 33, was jailed for life
with a minimum non-parole period of 21 years.
The end of Ms Portman's life must have been terrifying she
was hog-tied, gagged and covered with a sheet, squeezed into
the back of a car and driven from Papakura to Waikato, where
Te Awa killed her.
In a harrowing victim impact statement, Ms Portman's mother
Rebecca Norton spoke of her struggles to overcome the loss of
her daughter and unborn grandchild.
"She was a beautiful woman, not just her looks, but also her
inner soul. She was as harmless as a butterfly," Ms Norton
said of Ms Portman.
She knew, however, that her daughter was mixed up in the
drugs world, and that led to her death.
Dean Michael Addison, 36, ordered her kidnapping to teach her
a lesson after he and Ms Portman disagreed about the proposed
manufacture of methamphetamine from pseudoephedrine she
On a kidnapping charge and two drugs offences he was
sentenced to 12 years in jail, with a minimum term of six
Ms Portman was last seen in a Mt Albert hotel bar. Her body
was found dumped in a pit and covered with rubbish bags at an
Ardmore farm more than three months after her disappearance.
Addison was a pallbearer at her funeral and was welcomed at
Ms Portman's family's house, telling her brother Ben he would
find out who was responsible for the killing.
"You came into our home, carried Rae's coffin and helped put
her into the burial plot," Ms Norton told Addison.
"We had to get our house blessed to get rid of the violation
we felt. To me you are just as guilty of her murder as Te
Te Awa maintains his innocence and his mother, Georgina Te
Awa, reacted angrily to the sentencing.
"I'm beyond hurt," she said outside court. "I want justice
for Rae but I want the right p...k brought forward for it. I
want the truth out."
Ms Te Awa questioned the evidence against her son, who was
brought up not to hurt women, and said the jury at his trial
didn't stay awake.
She didn't know who killed Mr Portman but said she would
string them up by their neck if she found out.
In 2005 Te Awa was sentenced to five years in jail for sexual
offending against a boy under 12. Ms Te Awa said he was
innocent of that too a stance he originally took.
But reports released by the Parole Board say he eventually
"indicated that he was involved in the offending for which he
Te Awa had also served time for attacking someone, another
conviction his mother questioned.
"The fulla said my son smashed him with a crowbar. Where were
the photos? Nothing."
Te Awa's lawyer Peter Kaye said his client, who had been
confined to his cell 23 hours a day since December, expected
the harsh sentence.
An appeal against that and the conviction would be filed
"At the age of 33 he's got a 21-year non-parole period.
There's no consideration until you're 53. Most people are
fairly institutionalised by then.
"He was braced for what was going to happen but still he's
In court, Justice Kit Toogood said he accepted Addison didn't
intend for Ms Portman to be murdered, but he was the
"mastermind" of what happened.
The judge said descriptions of Te Awa's actions were
"The unemotional way in which you strangled Ms Portman, and
the evidence that shortly after the murder you appeared in a
calm and relaxed state ... all suggest a considerable
disassociation from the reality of taking the life of another
person. For those reasons I consider you to be extremely
Addison, who had a history of only minor offending, was also
convicted of supply of methamphetamine and possession of a
precursor substance for the purpose of manufacturing
A third man, Lee Rigby, is serving a three-year, nine-month
prison sentence for his part in the kidnapping. At last
year's trial he gave evidence for the Crown.
- By Jimmy Ellingham of