Life sentence for fatal stabbing

A market gardener who stabbed a young Christchurch mum to death in front of her three-year-old daughter has been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Paul Gottermeyer can be named for the first time after losing name suppression when he appeared before the High Court in Christchurch this morning.

The 29-year-old from Kaiapoi pleaded guilty to murder last month was told by Justice John Fogarty that he had carried out a "horrible attack of the utmost gravity".

His victim and her daughter retain name suppression.

The girl saw Gottermeyer enter her Christchurch family home on July 11 and stab her mum to death before slashing her throat.

She told police: "Mummy did bleed everywhere ... and mummy scream."

About 50 family members and friends of the victim filled the court today to see Gottermeyer sentenced and tell him how the crime had affected the family.

The woman's father asked the killer why he had taken his "little princess".

"Life will never be the same," he said. "I feel angry and betrayed."

Other family members say the young girl, who was three at the time of the attack, suffers night terrors and relives the ordeal.

The woman's brother told Gottermeyer the impact has been "sad and sickening".

Gottermeyer was on medication at the time of the murder and an outpatient at Christchurch's Hillmorton Hospital.

The court heard how he left home at 7am on July 11 with a large kitchen knife and drove to the woman's house.

He was let inside where a heated argument developed in the kitchen.

Gottermeyer removed the knife and attacked her, knocking her to the ground, and stabbed her repeatedly in the head, hands, chest, and back, before slashing her throat.

Later when he was arrested, he said the girl had not seen the attack.

He claims he closed the kitchen door and left water, biscuits, and a mandarin for the girl before driving home.

After showering and washing his clothes, he dumped the murder weapon which was never recovered.

The woman's body was found when her partner came home later that morning to check why she had not arrived at work.

He found the daughter crying and upset.

The woman was found lying face down in the kitchen, and police were called.

The killer was found driving on Marshlands Rd at 12.25pm.

Gottermeyer admitted the attack, and told officers: "I'm not a very nice person."

Justice John Fogarty adjourned the case until February 28 for a psychiatric report to be completed to establish Gottermeyer's mental state of mind at the time of the killing.

He will then determine the length of the minimum non-parole period.


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