No retrial for men who killed transsexual

Two men who killed a frail Upper Hutt transsexual will not be retried for murder.
  
David Shaun Galloway, 20, and Phillip Christopher Sanders, 42, were convicted of manslaughter and sentenced in the High Court at Wellington last December to lengthy prison terms.

Their trial had lasted nearly a month.

At the time 64-year-old Richard Milton Jones was bashed to death in his home, Galloway was aged 18. He and his co-accused had been out drinking to celebrate Sanders' 41st birthday.

Each blamed the other for the many serious injuries - including more than a dozen blows to the head - which resulted in the death of Mr Jones on April 29, 2009.

A jury of seven men and five women were unable to reach agreement on the original murder charges but returned a majority (11-1) verdict on the lesser manslaughter counts.

At the sentencing, the Crown kept open its option to pursue a retrial for murder.

However, it was confirmed before Justice Robert Dobson today that the manslaughter convictions and sentences would stand.

Justice Dobson was the trial judge who jailed Galloway for 10 years and Sanders for 9-1/2 years.

Neither man will be eligible for parole until he has served at least half his sentence.

The judge said he gave the younger man a longer sentence because his part in the ''brutal and tragic'' attack constituted a hate crime.

Galloway had commented that a transvestite did not deserve to live and repeatedly used the mantra that he ''believed in Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.''
  
It was abhorrent to suggest anyone should die because of their race, creed, colour or sexual orientation, Justice Dobson said at the sentencing.

''We are all absolutely equal in the eyes of the law.''

NZPA