27 Jul 2012

Life in prison for killer who sought legal immunity

4:30 pm on 27 July 2012

A man who had claimed he was constitutionally immune from being tried in court for murder and attempted murder has been sentenced to life in prison.

Tamati Mason, who is 42, was convicted earlier this year of the murder of Sandra Brown and the attempted murder of her daughter and his former fiancee, Kate, in Tauranga in February last year.

During Friday's sentencing in the High Court in Rotorua, Mason's iwi, Ngati Awa, read out an apology to the victim's family and friends.

Mason's lawyer, Annette Sykes, says it's unlikely the sentence - which has a minimum non-parole period of 17 years - will be appealed.

But she says her client may challenge the decision made against his pre-trial application, which was to have the charges dealt with on a marae, in accordance with Maori custom.