19 Oct 2010

Matamata horse breeder guilty of murder

6:12 pm on 19 October 2010

The Waikato man accused of murdering his wife by shooting her in the throat at close range has been found guilty.

Gregory Meads, 55, was charged with the murder of Helen Meads, 42, at their rural property in Matamata in September 2009.

A jury in the High Court in Hamilton agreed with the Crown's assertion that the shooting was deliberate, after a week-long trial.

It took just three hours to reach its verdict, after retiring at 11.05am on Tuesday.

The Crown said Mr Meads, a horse breeder, deliberately shot and killed his wife but the defence said it was not intentional and should be manslaughter.

Justice Allan told the jury of eight men and four women that they must put any prejudice and sympathy aside in reaching their verdict.

Meads showed no sign of emotion as the verdict was announced, and was remanded in custody for sentencing on 16 December.

Family of friends of Mrs Meads let out sighs of relief at the verdict and tears flowed.

Outside the court, her father, David White, hugged and spent time talking to the jury foreman.

Mr White says the verdict was gratifying and he was not surprised.

He says the defence's claim that the Meads' marriage was happy was completely wrong.

Mr White says his 10-year-old granddaughter now has to live with the fact that daddy killed mummy.

Listen to David White on Checkpoint