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Alex Fisher's murderer jailed for 14 years

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 8/07/2016
Eric McIsaac, right, will spend at least 14 years in prison for killing his brother Alex Fisher, left. © RNZ / Alexander Robertson / Supplied Eric McIsaac, right, will spend at least 14 years in prison for killing his brother Alex Fisher, left.

Eric McIsaac still hasn't said why he killed his 10-year-old half brother Alex Fisher.

McIsaac, 26, was on Friday jailed for at least 14 years for murdering the Levin schoolboy, whose body was found wrapped in a blanket in sand dunes at Waitarere Beach last October after three days of searches.

McIsaac pleaded guilty to the murder charge in May and during his sentencing in the High Court at Palmerston North, the court heard that he had hit Alex twice on the head with a wood splitter while he was sleeping.

Justice David Collins said Alex would have died immediately and would not have known what had happened.

McIsaac left Alex's body where he murdered him and the following day he called his mother from a phone box, saying he was distressed and that he needed to talk to her.

"When your mother arrived at Waitarere Beach you didn't tell her the truth about where Alex was," Justice Collins said.

"Later that day the police asked you where Alex was. You refused to assist the police in their inquiries. Your conduct is impossible to comprehend particularly given the apparently close relationship that you had with Alex."

Justice Collins said Alex's death has had an "extreme impact" on the family.

"All of the family will struggle with his death every day. Your offending is really the worst nightmare for any parent."

While a psychiatric expert has concluded McIsaac doesn't have an obvious, diagnosable mental illness, he does have clear mental health problems that contributed to his offending, Justice Collins said.

The killing happened just a couple of months after McIsaac was released from prison at the end of a two-year, seven-month sentence for burning down his father's house.

In their three reports on McIsaac, the Parole Board said he refused to take part in any rehabilitative programmes while he was in prison.

While he was encouraged to engage with community mental health services following his release, the board noted that McIsaac's probation officer would have no power to compel him to accept treatment.

Following Friday's sentencing, police released a statement from Alex's family in which they thanked the public for their support.

"Alex was much more than the sad events surrounding the end of his life.

"We his parents, siblings and family had nearly 11 years of memories of a treasured and much loved boy who will forever live in the hearts of so many.

"We wish to focus on these memories and do the one thing that matters the most - remember Alex."

Detective Senior Sergeant Neil Forlong said the sentencing was an important step for the family but they still did not have closure.

"We know that there are still unanswered questions about the exact circumstances of Alex's death.

"The only person with the answers is Eric McIsaac, and he has yet to share them with us."

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