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Murderer of gay man loses appeal

Sun 7 Feb 2010 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

A man given a life sentence for murdering a gay man in 2002 has lost his appeal against the conviction. Jason Ferguson was sentenced to life imprisonment after being found guilty in December 2002 to murdering John Sorrenson. The Court of Appeal reviewed evidence given in the Rotorua High Court that in June 2002 Ferguson, then 20-years old was hitch-hiking near Putaruru when he was picked up by the 50-year old Sorrenson. Fergusson said he subsequently accepted invitation to stay at Sorrenson's home and two nights later, while he was drying himself after taking a shower Sorrenson walked into the room and grabbed his penis. After rejecting the advances, Ferguson smashed a vase over Sorrenson's head and struck him repeatedly over the head with a poker before stabbing him in the back three times. The appeal court justices said that the case involved a single issue as to whether the culpable homicide was murder or manslaughter. "That was properly placed before the jury for consideration," they said in upholding the murder conviction.    

Credit: Daily News Staff

First published: Sunday, 7th February 2010 - 1:25am

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