Man jailed for murdering father

TRACEY CHATTERTON
Last updated 15:17 05/12/2012

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A Hastings man was "angry and frustrated about his life" so he took it out on his father - by stabbing him in the neck twice.

Jonathon Walter Middleton, 32, was drinking at a Danvers St home he shared with his 61-year-old father Walter Middleton on November 9 last year.

A drunk and agitated Middleton had ripped up the couch and smashed the TV by the time his father came home. When Walter walked in the door, Middleton stabbed him twice.

He immediately surrendered when the police arrived about 7pm that night.

Walter died the following night in Hawke's Bay Hospital from his injuries.

Earlier this year, Middleton pleaded guilty to murdering his father.

Middleton appeared for sentence in the Napier High Court today.

He hung his tattooed face in his hands and sobbed while his lawyer made submissions.

Amit Malik said after 13 months in custody, his client was no closer to explaining his actions.

Walter raised Middleton as his own son, although there was no biological connection.

They had a close relationship and Walter took in his adult son when he was having relationship problems.

Mr Malik said Middleton turned to alcohol to try and cope with "feeling like a failure in his own life". Middleton had stopped attending his roading excavation course, had been unfaithful to his partner and had not found alternative accommodation for the pair who were due to move out of their home.

"He was angry and frustrated at himself, not his father. But he took it out on his father."

A victim impact statement read out on behalf of the family said they still had so many unanswered questions as to why Middleton killed their father.

"All dad did was help you. You can say sorry but you haven't actually seen the impact, damage, pain and stress caused to the family."

Middleton left school at 14 and became an intravenous drug user until he was 25.

Justice David Collins said Middleton had a long history of drug and alcohol abuse and was described in a medical report as having a poly-substance dependency and a dysfunctional personality.

Just days before the attack, Middleton told his partner he wanted a "break from this shit" and to do something to someone so he could go to jail.

However, Justice Collins said there was "little premeditation" as Middleton was angry at himself.

He acknowledged Middleton's remorse and sentenced him to life.

He will serve a minimum of 11 years in prison.

 

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- The Dominion Post

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