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Wife murderer loses appeal bid

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 5 days ago

<span style="font-size:13px;">An appeal against a minimum jail term of 19 years by a man convicted of brutally murdering his estranged wife in 2013 has been dismissed.</span> © SNPA An appeal against a minimum jail term of 19 years by a man convicted of brutally murdering his estranged wife in 2013 has been dismissed. A man who brutally murdered his estranged wife has had his appeal against a minimum jail term of 19 years and his conviction dismissed.

The Court of Appeal found Michael Preston's life sentence with a minimum non-parole of 19 years for murdering Mei Fan was not excessive and in line with comparable cases.

The court also rejected an appeal against his conviction.

In November 2015, it took a jury in the High Court at Wellington three-and-a-half hours to find 60-year-old Preston guilty of charges of both murder and breaching a protection order Ms Fan had taken out against him.

Ms Fan was stabbed in the neck and face 15 times with a 30cm kitchen knife in her Wellington home in 2013, before being left to die in a pool of her own blood.

Handing down Preston's sentence in 2015, Justice Joe Williams described Ms Fan's killing as a "brutal, cruel and indeed callous" crime.

But Preston's lawyers argued in the Court of Appeal his convictions should be quashed because errors had been made in admitting material as evidence and because the trial judge had not summed up defence the case accurately for the jury.

But the court dismissed the appeal, finding all evidence had been admitted properly and the judge's rulings and directions to the jury had been complete and accurate.

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