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The family of Hunter MacIntosh, who was murdered by Daniel Cameron last year released a statement through police after Cameron was sentenced today.
Cameron (16) appeared before Justice Rachel Dunningham and a packed public gallery at Invercargill High Court.
Justice Dunningham sentenced Cameron to life in prison, with a minimum non-parole period of 11 years.
The statement reads as follows:
"Our son, Hunter Arthur MacIntosh, was nine years old when he tragically died in his bedroom on 30 October last year.
"Today is about Hunter. As you have heard in Court he was very much loved by so many and this tragedy has been overwhelming and devastating to his many family members, friends and the community as a whole.
"Today’s sentencing is another small step on a very long journey for us and no punishment administered by the Justice system will ever allow us to see Hunter’s beautiful smile again, nor does it dull the extreme pain we all feel everyday he is not here. We all miss him so very much.
"Hunter now has a wee brother who will never know him and his cousins still cry when he is not there. Time has not yet eased any of the pain caused by this senseless act and we still wait for an explanation as to what happened and why.
"We would like to take the opportunity to thank the emergency responders who attended on the night of this tragedy and the Police and Crown Law Office for their assistance since.
"Most of all we would like to thank the Otautau community for their ongoing support and kindness which has been amazing."