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Homeless man's killer had 150 convictions

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 25/10/2016

A homeless man who beat an friend to death in Auckland park had 150 previous convictions and was on parole at the time of the killing.

Darrell Dunn, 48, was on Thursday handed a sentence of seven years and six months in jail at the High Court at Auckland for the manslaughter of 42-year-old Teina Wharawhara late last year.

Mr Wharawhara had to be dragged by his friends to a hospital after they were unable to get an ambulance to help him in Grafton's Outhwaite Park last November.

Prosecutor Philip Arnold told the court Dunn had 150 convictions, 18 violent, dating back to 1984, including attacking police officers and threatening to kill.

He had been on parole at the time of the killing - having been released after being sentenced to a two-year jail term for assaulting a woman in 2015, Mr Arnold said.

Mr Wharawhara's brother, Teddy, told the court the family still wanted an apology from Dunn, who he described as a distant relative and a friend of Wharawhara.

"It is inconceivable that someone who has a common bond with each other ... can contemplate such an act," he said.

He said his brother had not been an angel and his whanau had failed bring him back from his life on the streets.

"We shall endeavour to search our hearts for forgiveness, but you Mr Dunn have an opportunity while incarcerated."

During the trial, Dunn's lawyers said he had only been defending himself from Mr Wharawhara during a fight over a cellphone.

But Mr Arnold told the court the death had followed "deliberate violence", detailing how Dunn rained blows on Mr Wharawhara and the extensive injuries left across the man's body, face and brain.

Sentencing Dunn, Justice Matthew Palmer said while he believed the attack had been serious and was not convinced of Dunn's remorse, he said the Crown had not proved there was not an element of self-defence.

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