14 May 2009

Minimum 12-year prison sentence for killer

5:05 pm on 14 May 2009

A man who beat to death a South Auckland teenager with a baseball bat in a case of mistaken identity has been sentenced to life imprisonment with a 12-year minimum non-parole period.

Jeffrey Key, 26, was sentenced in the High Court in Auckland on Thursday for the murder of Riki Mafi, 17, in the Otara town centre in September 2006.

Justice Winkelman says she took his expressed remorse into account, but given his plea of "not guilty" she give that little weight.

The judge says she also took into account the victim impact statements from Riki Mafi's family and says the devastation the loss has caused the family is palpable.

An apology from Key's family was read out in court on Thursday by his lawyer.

The father of Riki Mafi says what hurts the most is the fact his son's attacker has never apologised.

Fa'ono Mafi says he cannot get his head around the fact that Key has not shown remorse.

Riki Mafi's mother, Linda Beduhn, says it was a comfort that Key's parents apologised, but she views the sentence as devastating.

Ms Beduhn says her life has been torn apart by her son's death.