Warning - This story discusses graphic details of a murder and may distress some readers.
The mother of a man shot in the head three times has told his killer her world has fallen apart since her son's death.
Jay Lingman has been sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 15 years for murdering Denver Chance at his rural property south of Auckland two years ago.
After Denver Chance was reported missing in February 2019, his mother Paula McGregor told the court his family and friends searched tirelessly for him, worrying whether he had been involved in a car accident.
However, Lingman had shot her son, dragged his body down to a carport and used a chainsaw to fit it into a chest freezer. The body was found two weeks later.
McGregor said her world fell apart.
"I can't even begin to think any detail about what happened to Denver's body after he was killed. The degradation and disrespect is staggering and extremely hard to comprehend. Because of what was done to Denver's body, I could not even hold his hand or physically touch him to say goodbye," she said.
"I've tried all sorts of ways to try and get some peace back into my life. I know that I have to try and live with what happened, but finding any true joy is now almost impossible."
Denver Chance's sister - Virginia O'Sullivan, who lives in the United States - provided a recorded victim impact statement to the court. She described her brother as a gentle teddy bear.
"My heart feels like it's being pulled out of my chest as I read this. It's so difficult to put into words how much someone means to you when you know they're not here anymore.
"I'm not the same person I was. I have lost the coping mechanism to handle stress. I had to leave my job, my chef job working on super yachts that I loved for the last 12 years all because the stress was no longer something my body and mind could cope with."
During the trial, Lingman argued he was acting in self-defence when he shot Denver Chance in the head, but the jury did not accept that.
Both men were drug dealers, and Justice Harland said Chance's family had no idea of his involvement in the drug world.
"The world of drug dealing is an insidious and dangerous world, and it is a tragedy that any of you have become involved in what has transpired here," she said.
Justice Harland said what Lingman did to Denver Chance's body had a profound impact on his family and friends.
"It has caused them considerable trauma, making it profoundly more difficult for them to come to terms with what has happened to the person they loved."
On the first day of the trial, Lingman pleaded guilty to three drug possession charges. Justice Harland sentenced him to one year in prison for those offences, to be served concurrently.