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Featherston murderers jailed for "cowardly attack"

Thu 11 Feb 2010 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

Three young men who brutally bashed gay Wairarapa man Paul Irons and left him for dead have been jailed. Murdered: Paul Irons Irons, 36, was found in the early hours of 9 October 2008, bloodied and partly naked with serious head injuries in Featherston's Triangle Park. He had been at a party with the three men earlier that evening. Irons died when his life support was turned off five days later. 26-year-old Shaun Sullivan, found guilty of murder last December, was yesterday jailed for life with a minimum non-parole period of twelve years, reports the Dominion Post. Describing the murder as "vicious, gratuatious and cowardly," Justice John Wild also sentenced 16-year-old Rangitera Walker, who'd also been fond guilty of murder, with life and minimum non-parole period of eleven years. Andrew Dean Kupa-Caudwell, 18, who'd received the lesser verdict of manslaughter, will spend six years' jail with a minimum non-parole period of three years. Emails received by GayNZ.com after Irons' death suggested he was gay and that the attack had been a hate crime. Irons' friends have since confirmed that he was a gay man with a male partner. However, Irons' father publicly has denied his son was homosexual, saying "I can assure you he was not gay, he had a lot of girlfriends but he did have gay friends." "It was a hideous crime, which outraged the entire community," a close friend of Irons, who did not want to be named, told GayNZ.com today. "The judge did well, but the sentences could have been harsher. It was a vicious attack, no one deserves to die like that. Paul Irons was a great man, who would never hurt anybody."    

Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News Staff

First published: Thursday, 11th February 2010 - 11:37am

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