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Three jailed over Chch inmate's death

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 2/09/2016 Cleo Mary Fraser

Three men have been sentenced at Christchurch High Court over the fatal bashing of a fellow inmate at Christchurch Men's Prison last year. © SNPA/Ross Setford Three men have been sentenced at Christchurch High Court over the fatal bashing of a fellow inmate at Christchurch Men's Prison last year. A young man will spend at least 13 years behind bars for killing a fellow inmate at Christchurch Men's Prison.

Benton Parata, 44, was found unconscious in his cell on March 25, 2015, and died from his injuries six days later.

Three of his fellow inmates stood trial for his murder in the High Court at Christchurch in July.

At the start of the trial Akuhata Tihi, 23, admitted assaulting Mr Parata but denied he had murderous intent.

He was found guilty of murder and was on Friday sentenced to life imprisonment with a non-parole period of 13 years by Justice Gerald Nation.

Levi Reuben, 21, and Steven Betham, 37, who were both found guilty of manslaughter, were sentenced to seven years eight months and six years respectively.

Reuben was handed a non-parole period of four years.

Prosecutors argued during the trial that Tihi played the main role in the attack and that he was motivated by the fact Mr Parata told him off for stealing a radio from an older inmate.

The bashing, which left Mr Parata with severe head injuries, lasted less than two minutes.

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