An Auckland man has been sentenced to life in prison for stabbing his friend to death on New Year's morning 2013.
Peter Shaun Job, 39, was sentenced in the High Court in Auckland charged with the murder of Nathan Albert, 27.
An overflowing public gallery watched the sentencing this morning, many visibly upset. Victim impact statements were read by Albert's family.
Father James Albert said he missed his son every day and said he knew Job wasn't really his son's friend. "He hadn't even lived half his life. I am the only man in my family now and I haven't had a chance to grieve. I have to be strong every day for my family."
He called Job selfish and a coward of a man. "It would have been much easier for us if you had manned up and admitted your guilt."
Albert's former partner spoke of the pain of losing the father of her son. "For the last six months this has seemed like a movie. He was only two when his daddy's life was needlessly taken away. I know and you know that you don't take a knife to a fist fight."
Albert's mother, Jenny Albert said, "the wave of grief that came over me when I was told what happened to Nathan was indescribable. For days and days I walked around hoping I was in a dream and all of it wasn't real."
Albert was the boyfriend of Job's niece and the two men had been at a New Year's Eve party the night before the murder with their respective partners.
Later Albert arrived in a taxi at Job's house in Panmure but had no money to pay the fare.
Albert went inside and re-emerged with Job, who he appeared to be having an altercation with. Albert ran off with Job in pursuit.
No witnesses saw the stabbing, but one witness saw Job with blood on his hand walking away from Albert.
Albert had been stabbed twice - once in the back of the leg and once, fatally, in the upper left chest.
Family and friends of Job, who is the father of six children, spoke through his lawyer in support of him, saying the act was out of character.
In sentencing Job, Justice Mark Cooper recounted the events of the night and said the knife used was "substantial".
The judge rejected the suggestion that Job was acting in self-defence at any stage. "This was a very serious crime, involving as it did the use of a knife."
He acknowledged Job had a great deal of sincere support from his family and said Job had let those people down with his offending.
Job was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of ten years and six months.