1 Oct 2008

Church packed to farewell stabbed businessman

7:27 pm on 1 October 2008

More than 1000 people have paid their respects to an Auckland man who was fatally stabbed outside his workplace while trying to help a woman in distress.

Austin Hemmings, 44, died last Thursday after helping a woman who had been assaulted in Mills Lane, in Auckland's central business district, about 5.30pm.

His funeral was held on Wednesday at the Holy Trinity Church in Devonport and was filled to capacity.

One of his daughters, Jessica Hemmings, told the congregation her father was incredibly giving throughout his life.

Miss Hemmings said he gave love, hugs, friendship, money and then finally his life for someone else.

His son, Gareth, told mourners Mr Hemmings never missed taking him to a soccer game and they went on many adventures together.

He called his father a perfect role model and a hero, who always made him feel incredibly loved.

Mr Hemmings' wife, Jenny, thanked family and friends for their outpuring of sympathy.

A man, 45, appeared has appeared in Auckland District Court charged with assaulting the woman Mr Hemmings tried to help.

Police say the accused, whose name is suppressed, will face further charges when he reappears later in October.