15-year-old given life sentence for Hastings murder

Newstalk ZB, Hawkes Bay Today,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 5 February 2019, 5:30p.m.
Haami Hanara on trial for murder in the Napier High Court. (Photo / John Cowpland)

A 15-year-old who was found guilty of murdering a Flaxmere man has been sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of ten years.

Haami Hanara appeared before Justice Peter Churchman at the Napier High Court this morning.

A High Court jury of seven women and five men last November found Hanara, 14 at the time, guilty of the murder of 40-year-old Flaxmere man Kelly Donner.

He pleaded not guilty to murdering Donner on March 4 last year, near the Flaxmere Tavern.

The family of Kelly Donner say his death and the trial of his murderer were

The family of Kelly Donner say his death and the trial of his murderer were "devestating". Photo / supplied

Hanara, who was with a group of teenagers on a night out stealing in Flaxmere, admitted a charge of burglary by illegally entering the tavern compound outside, where Donner was looking for cigarette butts.

The Crown alleged Hanara had stabbed Donner after an argument over a torch, and defence counsel Eric Forster had told the jury his client's defence would be that "Haami did not do it deliberately".

Hanara had then given evidence that he did not know how Donner was stabbed.

A victim impact statement read to the court by a member of Donner's family described the entire process as "devastating".

"The cost to us emotionally and financially has been huge," she said.

"It's been a draining process, and financial and emotional costs have been significant for us."

Another family member said he still felt hurt and was grieving, but was satisfied at the outcome of the trial but "felt for both families".

Crown prosecutor Steve Manning addressed the court saying Hanara is the fourth teenager to be sentenced in the Napier High court in the last 12 months.

"They have much in common with the offender, from the same area, from a family with significant parental neglect, one or more of them was affected by the reality of a mother who was drinking when pregnant."