13 Mar 2018

Nelson man found guilty of murder

11:43 am on 13 March 2018

A Nelson man who denied killing a man living on a boat has been found guilty of murder.

Martin Grant Price is standing trial for murder.

Martin Grant Price has been found guilty of murder. Photo: RNZ/ Tracy Neal

Martin Grant Price was accused of murdering John Murray Morton, whose body was found on the deck of a boat moored at Nelson Haven in Atawhai in 2016.

The build-up to Mr Morton's death was described by the Crown as juvenile schoolyard abuse, a text feud of habitual insults that had escalated into an attack.

Crown prosecutor Jackson Webber told the court the victim met a violent death.

"He used at least a knife and his booted feet.

"The knife was one with a blade that was long enough to penetrate some 15cm deep into Mr Morton's body.

The victim was an itinerant who lived on a small boat in and around Nelson Harbour.

The jury returned a unanimous verdict after just over three hours of deliberation.

Price is to be sentenced next month.