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A former prostitute who stabbed her lover in the shower over an argument about him continuing to visit prostitutes, and left him to bleed to death, has been found guilty of murder.
Dionne Liza Neale, 39, now a hairdresser, of Beach Haven, was found guilty by a High Court jury in Auckland today of murdering print production manager Reece John Shadbolt, 38, on February 6, 2007, and causing intentional damage to his car.
Her lawyer Barry Hart told NZPA he would be lodging an appeal against the conviction.
"I was disappointed with the result. We think it's the wrong decision.
"I've seen her down in the cells and the decision has been made to appeal.
"There's some substantial points of law involved but they'll all be articulated in the appeal when we file it, which will be early next week.
"There may not be an appeal against the sentence because the Crown may not want a minimum non-parole period. We can do it in two parts, but we want to get our appeal in so we can get motoring."
During the four-week trial, the court heard the pair met in 2004 at Mustangs Gentlemen's Club, where Neale was working as a prostitute, Crown prosecutor Kevin Glubb said.
The relationship developed but they broke up some time later when a business they had invested in collapsed.
They remained in an on-again, off-again relationship and Neale helped Mr Shadbolt move into his new apartment in 2007.
Shortly after, she visited and demanded to know if he had been visiting prostitutes, Mr Glubb said.
He finally admitted he was.
Neale was still working at the club at the time.
On the morning of February 6, Waitangi Day, Neale returned to his apartment.
They had a cup of tea together, then while Mr Shadbolt was taking a shower she took a knife and stabbed him in the chest, Mr Glubb said.
The knife went through his heart and penetrated the back of his lung.
Mr Shadbolt appeared to have climbed out of the shower and made his way into the small hallway, Mr Glubb said.
He received a further eight stab wounds; one to the back, three to the throat area, one to the right shoulder, one to the left upper arm and two to the abdomen, which penetrated his bowel and liver, Mr Glubb said.
Neale's lawyer Barry Hart told the court her partner drove her to the brink of despair.
The pair had had an argument about a recent sex romp Mr Shadbolt had with a Scottish prostitute.
Afterwards, Neale went to the bathroom and vomited before leaving the apartment, attempting to "key" the words "whore addict" on the side of his car, the Stuff website reported.
When Neale returned the next morning, she refused to have sex with Mr Shadbolt.
Mr Shadbolt looked down at her and said "Stupid whore, I can get it anywhere," as he brushed past her on the way to the bathroom.
Mr Hart told the court Mr Shadbolt was the only thing of value left in Neale's life, after losing custody of her children and her money to a con, devised by Mr Shadbolt and his business partner.
Mr Hart said she was absolutely and utterly devastated by that. He pointed out this was not a premeditated murder and she was pushed over the edge.
Neale stabbed Mr Shadbolt in the arm, not in the chest as claimed by the Crown, Mr Hart told the court.
Mr Shadbolt came "barrelling" at her with his arms out and yelling obscenities. But the floor was wet and he fell onto Neale, and was stabbed as a result.
Neale will be sentenced on June 5.