Convicted killer John Hone Haerewa assaulted two women he had relationships with before he battered Allison McPhee to death.
Before Haerewa’s trial, which ended in a verdict of guilty of murder on Thursday, prosecutors had asked for the jury to hear evidence of his “propensity” for violence against women.
However, a judge in the High Court at Wellington ruled that the two earlier incidents – in March 1994 and January 2006 – did not have enough similarity with the attack on Ms McPhee, 42, to be a kind of “trademark” that would help the jury decide if he was the killer. …
In the two previous incidents he had also targeted the victims’ heads using what was to hand as weapons.
In the first case he broke the plastic handle of a spade on a woman. She was said to have suffered extensive injuries.
The second woman was injured when he slapped her repeatedly and attacked her with a trowel.
This strikes me as the kind of case the three strikes law would be good for. If the two previous convictions counted as strikes, he would now be facing his third strike of life without parole.
And while one can’t be definite, it is possible that if his 2006 conviction was a second strike then he may not have been released from jail by 2010 when he killed McPhee.