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A convicted killer showed no emotion in a High Court dock today as the sister of his young victim told him how much she hated him and how she would like to rip out his eyeballs.
Manurewa businessman Bruce Emery was being sentenced after a jury found him not guilty of murder but guilty of the manslaughter of 15-year-old tagger Pihema Cameron on January 26 last year.
Emery armed himself with a knife and chased Pihema Cameron and another young tagger down the road in Manurewa when they tried to tag his garage.
He claimed he took a knife for self defence and after the 300 metre chase the teenager was stabbed in the chest and died.
Before he was sentenced several members of the victim's family read their victim impact statements to the court.
Minutes before he was jailed for four years and three months, the dead youth's sister, Aquitania, 15, told Justice Hugh Williams she never got a chance "to say goodbye to her beloved bro".
She said she hated Emery and wanted to rip his eyes out.
Her mother Leanne Cameron told Emery he had brutally and needlessly taken her child.
She said as a solo mother of four she had gone to Australia to earn more money and when she was in Australia she learned Pihema had died.
"There is not a day that goes by when I don't think about my son."
She told Emery he had 300 metres to stop and think but he did not and in a "few moments of senselessness" her son died.
He had shown no remorse to the family.
"He thinks he has done nothing wrong.
"I have never felt so much hatred towards a person as I do to this man.
"I am serving a life sentence without my son."
Other family members also told Emery of their hate for him and the pain he had caused.
Throughout the reading of the victim impact statements, Emery showed no emotion.
Crown prosecutor Aaron Perkins said Emery was angry at the tagging but his response was out of all proportion.
"The prisoner deliberately stabbed a 15-year-old boy in anger in response to the tagging of his garage."
For Emery, Chris Comeskey said the killing was a matter of great tragedy and great sadness but it was not time for hatred and not time for a teenager to say she wanted to rip Emery's eyes out.
"Now is the time for people to move on and see the brighter side of life."
He said the dead youth's family had received great support and so had Emery's family.
"That is because a great proportion of New Zealanders can identify with the position he found himself in."
He said Emery had shown a lot of remorse despite the absence of a guilty plea.
However, the judge rejected his submissions that Emery should be considered for home detention.
He said Emery was not lured into the street where the youth was stabbed, nor was it a dark place.
He said he accepted Emery was remorseful.
He said a starting point was between 5-1/2 and six years but taking his age, background, his good family standing and his community contribution, that would be reduced to four years and three months.
Outside the court Mrs Cameron said he should have been given 10 years.
She said she wanted nothing from Emery nor did she want him to approach her family.
"I won't allow it."
She said she wanted him to swear on a Bible her son walked into the knife and he did not stab him.
"You can talk shit to a cop, you can't talk shit on a Bible."
She said the crying and the pain "just doesn't stop".
Aquitania said since the killing she did very little with her life.
"I just stay home, bum from my dad, get some money, go get stoned, drink alcohol and do whatever," she said.
Mr Comeskey said Emery would be distraught and would appeal his conviction.
He said his family was devastated and the case had cost them very heavily.
He said he had received two cheques for Emery's wife and three daughters and would accept more donations to help them.
Emery was not on legal aid because his assets included two houses but his family was "completely tapped out" and was surviving on very little.
"Any donations would be gratefully received. This is not for his legal fund at all. He is not on legal aid."
He said Emery was genuinely remorseful and the judge accepted that in court.
NZPA AKL is kk nb
Source: NZPA Auckland