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Man jailed 12 years for Rotorua murder

16:26 Thu Dec 6 2012
A man has been jailed for at least 12 years for murdering Polish man Roman Skorek in Rotorua
A man has been jailed for at least 12 years for murdering Polish man Roman Skorek in Rotorua (Getty)

The Rotorua man who admitted murdering a Polish man in a city park has been jailed for at least 12 years.

Rawiri James Samuel, 21, was sentenced to life with the 12-year minimum non-parole period when he appeared in the High Court at Rotorua on Thursday.

Justice Mary Peters described the attack on 64-year-old Roman Skorek as a violent and unprovoked group attack over a long period that displayed a high level of brutality.

Three others, Simon Herewini, 21, William Karauna Edwards, 15, and Leslie McKay Glen, 14, deny murder and will go to trial in February.

Crown prosecutor Amanda Gordon had wanted a 17-year non-parole period for Samuel but agreed it should be reduced because of his early guilty plea and remorse.

Samuel's lawyer Martin Hine said not only was Samuel deeply remorseful but the tragedy of Mr Skorek's death had scarred his soul.

Justice Peters said Samuel and the three others had spent the day drinking stolen wine before meeting Mr Skorek at the Kuirau Park (geothermal) foot pools.

They were heavily intoxicated and some of the group believed Mr Skorek had begun to display some sexual interest in one of them.

They became angry at him, hitting him several times in the face and head before overpowering him.

"He was repeatedly kicked in the head in an assault hat lasted at least 10 minutes," Justice Peters said.

The attack left him with numerous broken bones in his face and scalp, which led to a bleed into his brain.

Justice Peters noted it was Samuel who had pulled Mr Skorek's backpack off, finding a knife which was later used to stab him.

The group left the park, but discussed the fact he was still alive and knew their names, she said.

They returned and he was then stabbed to death, Justice Peters said.

It was not clear who inflicted the fatal wound but he was stabbed in the face, lower lip and upper chest. The chest wound killed him.

The judge said after the stabbing the group had used money stolen from Mr Skorek to buy more alcohol.