Auckland grandfather who stabbed wife in head jailed for six and a half years
An Auckland grandfather laid out two lengths of rope and three knives in his hallway then lay in wait for his wife to return home from church so he could kill her, a court has heard.
Mataafa Taoipu Ae appeared for sentence in front of Justice Simon Moore at the High Court at Auckland on Friday after pleading guilty to a charge of attempted murder and breaching a protection order.
Further charges of aggravated burglary and threatening to kill were withdrawn.
According to a summary of facts the 66 year-old was a loving father and grandfather who was in a "rocky" relationship with the victim - his second wife of 10 years.
Although Ae was said to be a non-drinker, on August 1, 2015 he downed two litres of red wine at his Manurewa home and begun to "obsess" over the problems with his spouse, Justice Moore said.
"Plainly, you were drunk. That of course is no excuse for what later happened. Your wife was at church (and) you began to ruminate on how she had treated your children from a previous relationship.
"These thoughts developed into an obsession because you began to think about how you might commit violence against her."
Ae prepared two lengths of rope and three knives and lay them out in the hallway after repeatedly calling his wife and telling her to come home.
When she arrived, the pair argued and spotting the knives, the victim ran outside and down the street, pursued by Ae.
She ran for safety to a neighbour's home but Ae followed her inside and in front of a group of eye-witnesses, Ae forced her to her knees before stabbing her repeatedly in the head.
The woman had held up her hands in an attempt to protect herself but "you continued to rain blows on her", Justice Moore said.
She survived, but suffered "horrific" lacerations to her face, scalp, arms and hands as a result, including nearly losing a finger.
When Ae was arrested he admitted to police he was "100 per cent committed" to killing his wife.
Ae's lawyer Kahungunu Barron-Afeaki SC said his client was deeply remorseful and would accept any sentence handed to him.
"To the victim, he's deeply, deeply sorry but understands the relationship is finished. He only asks that in her heart, that she can forgive him for what happened and they can move on," Barron-Afeaki said.
"He was leading a normal life. It appears he was a loving father, very attentive to his children and his grandchildren, and that hasn't stopped and he is here today to accept his sentence."
Although Ae had no previous convictions and was assessed as having a low risk of reoffending, report writers said he was at a high risk of harming others, particularly the victim.
Justice Moore said the offending was aggravated by his premeditation and determination.
"This was not a spur of the moment attack. It's not a case where you suddenly lost control. The very opposite is the case. You thought, you smouldered, on what it was you intended to do to your wife," Justice Moore said.
The vulnerable area of the body that Ae had targeted was telling, Justice Moore said, and his description of the weapon as "just a butter knife" was "benign".
"It was a sharp knife you used to considerable effect."
For the attempted murder charge Justice Moore sentenced Ae to six and a half years imprisonment. He would also serve another month in jail for breaching the protection order, to be served concurrently.
No minimum period was imposed.