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Man jailed 10 years for cleaver murder

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 22/07/2016

A Whangamata man has been jailed for at least ten years after he murdered his friend in a frenzied knife attack following a drinking session at his house last year.

Anthony Ballantyne, 63, was sentenced in the High Court at Hamilton on Friday after earlier being found guilty at trial of the murder of 76-year-old Ivan Kapluggin in February 2015.

He was sentenced to life with a minimum non parole period of ten years. During the evening things became heated between the two resulting in Ballantyne stabbing Kapluggin seven times in the chest, neck and back, as well as cutting his hands and face.

He then grabbed a meat cleaver and struck him "fiercely" on the head after the victim was already dead. Kapluggin's daughter Marie Kapluggin Holden spoke of the huge emotional ordeal the murder had caused through her victim impact statement.

"This horrendous act will have reverberations through my family for years. I have no sympathy or forgiveness for the man who took my father's life.

"Sitting through the trial was something I had to do for my extended family but it was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. "It was so much worse than I ever expected. I'm so very angry with the man who called himself my father's friend," she said.

Justice Timothy Brewer was not impressed with Ballantyne's ongoing profession of innocence.

"I have no doubt that the jury's decision was the correct one. "You rang 111 and put on a display to try and distance yourself from what had happened. There is simply no way that blame could be attached to anyone else but yourself."

The victim impact statement from Mr Kapluggin's wife in Thailand is particularly harrowing.

She's devastated having lost emotional and financial support and is in a very dark place.

No sentencing process can ever make up for the loss of a life, Justice Brewer said.

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