26 Feb 2016

Wife murderer gets at least 17 years jail

1:56 pm on 26 February 2016

A man who murdered his estranged wife before trying to kill his stepdaughter and her partner will spend at least 17 years behind bars.

Brent Donovan Scott was sentenced this morning for murdering his estranged wife Heidi Welman-Scott by stabbing her at least six times in her Mt Albert home in November 2014.

Heidi Welman-Scott, who former husband Brent Scott is accused of murdering.

Heidi Welman-Scott Photo: Supplied

Scott pleaded guilty in December last year to murder and attempting to murder her daughter Taryn Welman and her partner Matija Miletic, who were both 22 at the time.

Scott and Ms Welman-Scott emigrated to New Zealand from South Africa in 2002 before having a son.

By 2011, according to the police summary of facts, the relationship had started deteriorating.

In October 2014, Scott booked tickets to South Africa. During a visit to his travel agent, he asked for the tickets to be held at the office and said he did not want to be contacted by email in case anyone found out about his travel plans.

He later told the agent he would catch his flight as long as he was not in prison or arrested.

In November, four days before the murder, Scott purchased two knives from a fishing supply shop in Albany.

Scott also sold his car. He told the buyer he was going back to South Africa because "you can't shoot or stab anyone here".

During sentencing Justice Peters said Scott's actions were "callous" and said the attack had been carefully planned over a period of time.

"Your purchase of the knives four days before shows pre-meditation."

Justice Peters said that was a lengthy period and long enough to think better.

Brent Scott

Brent Scott Photo: NZ POLICE

"I think you planned it over six weeks," she said, referring to his flights booked in October to leave the day of the murder.

After parking 100m from Ms Welman-Scott's property in a hired truck, Scott waited an hour and half behind a water tank before stabbing her at least six times when she arrived home from dropping her son at school.

Her daughter, Taryn, and her daughter's partner, Matija Miletic, had been sleeping upstairs and woke up after hearing the commotion.

After trying to rescue Ms Welman-Scott by pulling her through the garage door into the house, they were both stabbed.

Justice Peters said Scott's determination to attack made the case exceptional.

Scott left the scene, returned the hired vehicle and was dropped at the airport where he was arrested by authorities.

Reading her victim impact statement this morning, Taryn Welman, who received two stab wounds in the attack, broke down in tears.

She said her scars reminded her every day of what happened and she would never be able to get over Scott's "horrendous and selfish act".

Since the death of her mother, she said she had become the legal guardian of her younger brother resulting in a loss of freedom as a young person and a loss of "numerous friendships".

"She was my rock."

She told the court she would always miss her mother.

Matija Miletic, who received life-threatening injuries, said he had experienced psychological trauma because of the attack, including flashbacks which he called a "senseless reminder playing over and over".

He said he was still suffering from anxiety.

Ms Welman-Scott's brother, Ashley Welman, has taken in her son Keagan, who he said still had not come to terms with the loss of his mother.

"She had so much to offer the family and community."

He said for Keagan, the "trauma is insurmountable" and he had to live with the loss of his mother and realising his father caused this.

Outside court, Detective Inspector Kevin Hooper said it was a tragic case.

"Their loss is absolutely total.

"Family violence impacts, it's just invasive, it's terrible and the knock on effects of a case like this, we can't calculate it."

He said if any lessons were to be taken from the case it would be that it was important for people to speak out.