Killer plunged knife through man's neck at dinner table

A Kawerau man has admitted plunging a knife through a relative's neck as he sat eating dinner.

Thomas Edward Ray, 32, pleaded guilty in the High Court at Rotorua today to murdering 23-year-old Gareth Lardelli Kaipara in Kawerau on January 10 last year.

According to the Crown summary of facts, the pair were related through Ray's adoptive mother and had known each other for more than 20 years.

On the afternoon of the murder Mr Kaipara and Ray were drinking together at Ray's Holyoake Cres home.

About 8pm Ray, his mother, 9-year-old nephew and Mr Kaipara sat at the dining table to eat. Ray got up, took a large stainless steel knife from the kitchen and pushed it through Mr Kaipara's neck. He died at the scene.

Defence lawyer Bill Lawson told the court a psychiatric assessment would be provided to the judge before sentencing.

Justice Graham Lang also ordered a pre-sentence report including a drug and alcohol assessment.

He remanded Ray in custody for sentencing on March 28.

- Katie Holland of the Rotorua Daily Post