A man who nearly 18 months ago walked into the Nelson police station and told police he had a woman's body in a car parked nearby has now pleaded guilty to her murder.
Michael William Beca, 46, of no fixed abode, yesterday pleaded guilty in the High Court at Christchurch to the murder of Lisa Maree Corbett, 37, who lived in the Brook Motor Camp in Nelson, in March last year.
He has been remanded for sentencing in Nelson on December 10.
In March last year Beca, who is said to have been in an on and off relationship with Ms Corbett, walked into the Nelson police station and told the police Ms Corbett's body was in the car.
He had the victim's 5-year- old daughter with him and she is thought to have been present when her mother was killed.
He was alleged to have killed Ms Corbett near the Spooner's Range Lookout, between Murchison and Nelson, and then driven to Nelson with her body.
Beca was a former resident at the motor park, which was how the two met, but had moved out months before the killing. Residents reported seeing the pair arguing a week before her death.
Ms Corbett's daughter was put into Child, Youth and Family custody after Beca was arrested, before her Dunedin-based parents travelled to pick her up.
Since he was arrested Beca's case has made slow progress through the courts, as Beca refused to co-operate with a second psychiatric report.
He also changed his legal representation several times, at one point asking for no legal representation, and at another requesting a Wellington lawyer.
He also tried to read a four-page statement to the court, telling the judge he would not co-operate until he was allowed to do so.
Beca was represented yesterday by Gerald Nation. Mr Nation said he had been his lawyer for about three weeks.
Crown prosecutor Jackson Webber said the hearing yesterday was held as Beca and his lawyer were both in Christchurch, and it was a simple plea hearing.
It had been a long legal process, he said.
"It's good to be now getting to the point where the victim's family can see him sentenced."
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