THE Court of Appeal recently rejected a bid by Robert Hohua to have his sentence for murdering his partner in Opotiki reduced, reports the New Zealand Herald.
Hohua was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 17 years in December 2017 after being found guilty of the murder of Marie Harlick in November 2016.
Hohua punched, kicked and stomped his partner to death. He took an appeal against his conviction and sentence to the Court of Appeal.
Hohua’s legal team submitted a report detailing Hohua’s “extremely disadvantaged background”, which they said was connected to the offending and should therefore mitigate the sentence.
Justice Cameron Mander acknowledged the connection, but rejected this argument given the vicious nature of the murder.
“That [connection] does not appear to have been regarded as having much, if any, mitigating effect when set against the nature and brutality of Ms Harlick’s murder,” the court decision said.
Hohua broke into Ms Harlick’s Opotiki home in 2016 after becoming convinced she was being unfaithful, and brutally beat her to death while their 19-month-old daughter, Vivienne, watched.