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15 year sentence for brutal Waipouri murder

Fri 29 Feb 2008 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

Palmerston North man Ashley Arnopp has been given a fifteen year jail sentence for his part in the 2006 murder of gay man Stanley Waipouri. Stanley Waipouri Waipouri died in December 2006 after a brutal attack in his Palmerston North apartment during which he sustained multiple internal and external injuries including having the tip of his penis sliced off. The injuries, particularly to his head and neck, were so severe that a pathologist, Dr. Katherine White, was unable to pinpoint the exact cause of death. After a CAT scan Dr John Goulden told the court he'd never seen "such severe frontal fractures on any living person." Arnopp, 21, and co-accused Andre Gilling, 18, were still at the blood-spattered apartment with Waipouri's body when police arrived. They had taken marijuana, party pills and drunk alcohol before the attack. When police entered the apartment the pair were attempting to wash bloodstained clothing. Arnopp's sentence, handed down in the Palmerston North High Court today by Justice Alan MacKenzie, has delighted gay lawyer and MP Charles Chauvel, who says that "justice has been done." Chauvel is a strong proponent of proposed changes to the crimes act which would see 'gay panic' struck off as a mitigating factor in court, and for the legal system to acknowledge hate crimes. Last December Arnopp pleaded guilty part-way through a trial. Gilling, who continued to deny murdering Waipouri, will be re-tried later this year after the original trial jury delivered a hung verdict over his role in the attack.    


First published: Friday, 29th February 2008 - 9:11pm

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