10 Nov 2018

Supreme Court throws out Neil Swain's appeal

11:17 am on 10 November 2018

The Supreme Court has thrown out the appeal of a man convicted of murdering his friend and dumping his body in a drum in the Whanganui River

The NZ Coat of Arms on the Supreme Court building in Wellington.

The NZ Coat of Arms on the Supreme Court building in Wellington. Photo: PHOTO NZ

Neil Raymond Swain was sentenced to life in prison in 2015 with a minimum of 14 years for the murder of Whetu Hansen on his Linton property two years previously.

In 2013 Mr Swain shot Mr Hansen multiple times before dumping his body in the back of a ute.

Mr Hansen's body and that of his dog have never been found.

Whetu Taeola Hansen.

Whetu Taeola Hansen. Photo: NZ POLICE

Earlier this year, the Court of Appeal threw out Mr Swain's appeal for the murder of Mr Hansen.

Mr Swain's Supreme Court appeal centered on evidence given by a police officer which revealed prior convictions for kidnapping witnesses at gunpoint.

The trial judge directed the jury to ignore the evidence about the prior convictions.

The Supreme Court, which was released yesterday, stated the mistake didn't materially alter the prejudicial effect of the admission of this evidence.