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Murder appeal dismissed

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 3/05/2017
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A man who said a judge didn't take his diagnosis for foetal alcohol syndrome into consideration when sentencing him to 12 years in jail for murder has had his appeal dismissed.

Elias Pomare was 16 when he killed 56-year-old Michael Patrick Griffin at the victim's Whangarei home on October 4, 2014, by striking him on the head at least twice.

Mr Griffin suffered a fractured skull and later died in hospital.

Pomare pleaded guilty and was sentenced on June 17, 2016, to 12 years in prison.

A psychological report on Pomare's foetal alcohol syndrome disorder - caused when a pregnant woman abuses alcohol, causing mental and physical problems for the child - said he had been misdiagnosed but it did not draw a link between the offending and Pomare's condition.

Pomare's appeal said the sentencing judge, Justice Edwin Wylie, also did not taken into account remorse Pomare had shown for his actions.

However, the Court of Appeal said "this was a brutal and callous murder... involving a particularly vulnerable victim. An initial starting point for offending of this kind by a healthy adult could have been as high as 19 years.

''Mr Pomare's culpability is reduced because of FASD and youth, but 12 years [imprisonment] is not manifestly excessive."

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