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Nine-year sentence for Waikato killing

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 12/04/2016

A Waikato man who viciously beat his injured cousin and called his victim's sister while he lay on the floor dying has been given nine years in jail.

Michael Taylor, 50, was on Tuesday handed a sentence of nine years and two months at the High Court in Auckland after pleading guilty to manslaughter last month.

He had originally been charged with the murder of cousin Michael Bull in the Waikato town of Meremere but admitted to the lesser charge instead.

The court heard Taylor had repeatedly lashed out at Bull, who was wearing a neck brace, including once with a metal pipe, because of frustration with Bull's weight and injuries.

On the night of the killing, Bull fell over at a door frame while trying to get his shirt over the device on his head, according to the court.

Taylor then repeatedly slammed the door against him and began kicking him.

An hour later, he called Bull's sister, asking her: "Do you love your brother?"

She could hear Bull screaming in the background, but was told by Taylor he was just drunk.

Then at one point Taylor yelled he would kick Bull in the head, before the noises from his cousin abruptly stopped.

Sentencing Taylor, Justice Simon Moore said he had "spared no part" of his cousin's body.

"By my calculation you broke 10 ribs on the right side and 11 ribs on the left side," he said.

"He had bruises and lacerations to his head and face. He had injuries to his extremities. The injuries to his chest and abdomen are rightly described as extensive."

He said reports given to the court painted a picture of someone who had little "little insight into the consequences or enormity of what they have done".

"Mr Taylor, you took the life of a man who had done you no wrong and who was closely related to you, Justice Moore said.

"He was much loved by his family who are now ashamed to call you one of their own."

Victim impact statements described Bull as a quiet and unassertive man who had serious health issues.

Taylor will have to serve at least four years and seven months of his sentence before coming up for parole.

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