17 Aug 2012

Man jailed for Blueskin Bay murder

5:21 am on 17 August 2012

A Dunedin man has been sentenced to prison for at least 12½ years for a murder at a beach north of the city.

Peter Holmes had pleaded guilty to killing James Ellis, 23, in April last year at Blueskin Bay estuary.

Peter Holmes.

Peter Holmes. Photo: OTAGO DAILY TIMES

Holmes lured Mr Ellis to the beach and attacked him after hearing he had allegedly raped a woman the killer was interested in.

Two other men, Dean and Mark Carruthers, have been convicted for assisting in the murder.

Sentencing Holmes at the High Court in Dunedin on Thursday, Justice Young said the attack was highly brutal, involving weapons including a wheel brace, to inflict more than 60 wounds.

Justice Young said Holmes had no evidence of Mr Ellis's wrongdoing yet had planned in advance to take the law into his own hands.

The judge imposed life imprisonment with a minimum sentence of 12 years and six months, saying Holmes is a danger to the community.