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Family satisfied with murder verdict

Last updated 05:00 05/12/2013

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The murder conviction of two men in the Lee McMurdo case has brought relief to police and the McMurdo family.

Police are describing the outcome of the High Court murder trial into the death of the Helensville man as "very satisfying".

John Grant Cuthers and Andrew Parry Nicholson were both found guilty of murder last Friday, following a fortnight's trial in the Auckland High Court.

"The investigation was very difficult and protracted. Both of these men went to great lengths to avoid detection so we're very satisfied with the result," operations leader Detective Inspector Greg Cramer says.

"Although nothing will return Lee to his family, this result does give them some amount of closure."

The guilty verdict was a "great relief" for the McMurdo family.

"We're so ecstatic. Justice has been done," Tracey French, Lee's sister, says.

His death has significantly affected his daughter, Lateasha, who was very close to her father, the family say.

"It's had a huge impact. They were inseparable the pair of them," Lee's father Bruce McMurdo says.

Lateasha found her father dead at his Woodhill home on July 29, 2011.

She was 12 years old at the time.

The convictions provided the McMurdo family with some satisfaction, but it did not help with the pain of their loss.

"For doing the crime they did, they got what they deserved. It doesn't change our lives. We are still missing our son," Bruce McMurdo says.

Police say the motive for the killing was a botched robbery.

"With over 2500 people spoken to during the investigation we also gained significant insight into the criminal element in the Helensville area," Mr Cramer says.

At its peak more than 50 staff were dedicated to the investigation, with a significant focus on Helensville, West Auckland and Northland.

"During the investigation several people were arrested for possessing and dealing in controlled drugs, class A, B and C," Mr Cramer says. "Controlled drugs were seized and stolen property, from electronics to excavators were recovered."

Mr Nicholson and Mr Cuthers will be sentenced on February 14.

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