Elderly woman stabbed 17 times
Christchurch woman Valmai McFie was stabbed 17 times with a boning knife by a neighbour she had previously complained to council and police about.
It's a murder her family believe was preventable and they want answers.
The chilling details of the Spreydon slaying emerged as Colin Albert Hoani appeared for sentence at the High Court in Christchurch this morning.
McFie, 67, was found dead on a lawn at a MacGibbon Pl social housing complex about 6.30pm on July 20.
Hoani went to a neighbour's flat minutes after committing the crime and explained that he had killed McFie He then asked the neighbour to call the police.
He entered an unexpected guilty plea to the murder in August.
Justice Graeme Panckhurst this morning jailed Hoani for life with a minimum non-parole period of 10 years.
Outside court, McFie's niece, Louise Wegner-Parker, who travelled from Australia for the hearing, said she was disappointed with the length of the sentence.
McFie complained to Christchurch City Council about Hoani before the murder. Mediation was also held.
Wegner-Parker said her family had made repeated requests for the detail about the complaints, after her death, but they had been denied information by council.
''We would like to hear from authorities about what actually happened. Our belief is it could have been preventable, but without any information it's difficult to move forward.
''I think that's really important in the process - to understand what failed and why it failed.''
McFie's friends also expressed disappointment about the way McFie's complaints were handled by council.
Panckhurst said that on the night of the murder Hoani was sitting outside his flat drinking coffee and having a cigarette when McFie returned home.
He claimed she made a racial remark, which triggered his frenzied attack.
''You apparently said 'this is the last straw','' Panckhurst said.
He took out a boning knife and stabbed her at least 17 times, mostly in the upper body. She collapsed and died on the spot.
Hoani confessed the crime to a resident and then phoned police. He then text family telling them what he had done.
When police arrived he admitted to them what he had done.
Hoani later told authorities he ''lost it'' and it was the "angriest you have ever felt".
Panckhurst said reports showed there he had no mental health problems that could explain the offending.
Hoani's early guilty plea and conduct after the murder were mitigating factors in the sentence.
He had historic criminal convictions, but none for violence.
In court, Wegner-Parker who was there with her mother Lynette, McFie's sister, said her family asked themselves every day if there was something they could have done to prevent the murder.
''Colin Hoani's pre-meditated actions are devastating to our family, a horror we have to live with for the rest of our lives."
Hoani had been a ''source of discontent'' for McFie for more than a year at the time of her murder.
She had complained to both the Christchurch City Council and police about him, Wegner-Parker said.
''The hardest thing that we have to deal with now, and will have to deal with for the rest of our lives, is why something was not done about this issue before it escalated,'' she said.
''The family is left with many questions that will be unanswered, due to the unforgivable act of this man.
''It's one thing having to accept that Colin Hoani is a monster and killed my aunt and that this will remain a source of angst for the rest of our lives. It is another though, to deal with knowing that something could have been done to prevent this."
Wegner-Parker said McFie had little money and few personal possessions. She came to New Zealand about 45 years ago and had recently retired.
''She was looking forward to retirement, which was less than two years ago. She had not had the easiest of life, with little money, and serious health scares increasing her resolve in knowing the value of being happy and being good to her friends and community.
''Valmai would give you the shirt off her back, and her last dollar if you needed it. She was a very supportive friend and a mother figure to some.
''This unforgivable act continues to be a source of pain, grief, and a nightmare for our family, in particular my mother.
"The sleepless nights, nightmares, and anxiety is unrelenting. Our family has changed forever.
"May your days be painful and long and may you [Hoani] never see society again."
Residents and social agencies have previously voiced concerns to The Press about the mix of people in council housing complexes.
Christchurch councillor Yani Johanson called for a review of the council's housing policy following the murder.
The review should include looking at the "tenant mix" in some of the council's 104 complexes, he said.
Access to social housing was incredibly important but he said the council needed to ensure it was done safely.
Police have previously confirmed McFie had contacted it in late June and early July last year about a "minor" dispute with a neighbour.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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