26 Mar 2016

Murderer avoids life behind bars

3:37 pm on 26 March 2016

A murderer has avoided being imprisoned for life without parole under the three strikes legislation.

Hiakita Eruera has been sentenced to a minimum non-parole period of 17 years for the 2014 murder of Taki Tiepa-Ranapia.

It was Eruera's second strike offence, meaning he could have faced life in prison without parole, unless that would be manifestly unjust.

During sentencing in the High Court in Tauranga, Justice Christian Whata said life without parole would be 'grossly disproportionate', particularly in light of Eruera's capacity to rehabilitate.

He said while Eruera's crimes were violent, there was also provocation.

Crown Law has lodged appeals in two other cases where judges have not sent criminals to prison for life under the three strikes law.