17 Aug 2013

Six years jail for killer 'a joke' - victim's friend

12:25 am on 17 August 2013

The killer of a Hauraki Plains mother of three children was sentenced today to six years and seven months in jail, but a friend of the victim says the sentence is a joke.

Mark Pakenham, who is 51, admitted killing Sara Neithe, 31, by injecting her with methamphetamine in March 2003.

Despite extensive searches in the past decade, neither Ms Neithe's body nor her car have been found.

During today's sentencing, the court heard Pakenham revealed to an associate in October 2009 that he had killed Ms Neithe and that he knew where her body was.

Ms Neithe's friend, Rachel Mains, says the sentence is an insult to the memory of her friend.

Sara Neithe's eldest son, Dion Chamberlain, who was 12 when she disappeared, read a victim impact statement saying not knowing she was dead and still not knowing where her body is were the hardest aspects to deal with.

In sentencing, Justice Brewer said the action of injecting methamphetamine was such an inherently dangerous act that sentences in this area should be aimed at deterring others from doing the same.

He said he also took into account the concealment of Ms Neithe's body. Justice Brewer said that during sentencing that he had concluded Pakenham knew where the body was.