Man jailed for murder of Te Atatu woman Cun Xiu Tian

7:59 pm on 26 May 2017

Jaden Lee Stroobant, who was 19 when he sexually violated a 69-year-old woman in her home before murdering her, had only been out of prison for five weeks and was on parole.

Jason Lee Stroobant is sentenced for the murder of Cun Xiu Tian in the High Court in Auckland.

Jason Lee Stroobant is sentenced for the murder of Cun Xiu Tian in the High Court in Auckland. Photo: Supplied / Pool

Stroobant had spent more time inside prison than out since his 17th birthday.

Today he was sentenced to life with a minimum non-parole period of 17 years for murdering 69-year-old Cun Xiu Tian.

Justice Lang also sentenced Stroobant to preventive detention for the sexual violation charges, meaning he will only be released when he can prove he is no longer a threat to society.

Stroobant attacked his frail 46 kilogram neighbour in broad daylight while she was gardening.

The Crown prosecutor, David Johnstone, said Stroobant had used overwhelming force, throttling her and pushing her to the ground.

"With Ms Tian on the ground, this offender stomped on her head, causing the injuries that eventually killed her."

He then sexually violated her and his DNA was found at the scene.

Stroobant then set about ransacking the house, stealing an ipad, cash and her daughter's watch.

"He perpetuated his attempt to avoid detection by using rags and a cleaning product to seek to remove forensic traces."

Daughter describes mother's killer as 'monster from hell'

Ms Tian's daughter, Christine Wei, said she still remembers her mother waving and smiling as she and her husband left their Te Atatu home for work on the morning of 15 January last year.

She said when they got home that afternoon she found her mother's body. Ms Wei described Stroobant as a "monster from hell" who not only killed her mother but also her future.

Ms Tian's son-in-law, Jerry Wang, said up until that moment, his life had been perfect.

He and his wife lived in a happy home in the West Auckland suburb of Te Atatu with his mother-in-law but that all changed on the day of the murder.

He said since then, he and his wife have not been able to live in their house.

Stroobant's lawyer, Emma Priest described the crime as a burglary gone wrong.

"Mr Stroobant has appeared to take some responsibility for his offending, stating in his interviews with Dr Immelman that he entered a guilty plea because: 'It was my fault. I went out and got on drugs that night. I needed the money, so I just took it one way or another'."

She said Stroobant came from a dysfunctional family and had been subjected to physical abuse. He had spent time living on the streets and had used drugs and alcohol from an early age.

"It is submitted that had Mr Stroobant been offered the stability, love and opportunities of a normal home environment, he would not have committed this offending."

She asked Justice Lang not to impose the crushing sentence of preventive detention.

Extremely high-risk of re-offending - Judge

But Justice Lang said mental health reports before the court showed Stroobant posed an extremely high-risk of re-offending.

"You have no insight into what you have done or the damage you have caused. You appear to have no interest in atoning for your conduct or rehabilitating yourself."

The judge said one of the report writers found Stroobant had little remorse for the victim, saying the process had been tough on him and his family.

Justice Lang said Stroobant needed an incentive to change and preventive detention for the sex crimes could do that.

The sentence means Stroobant will have to prove he is no longer a risk to the community before being released.

As Stroobant left the dock he swore and said he could not have asked for a better sentence.

Outside court Detective Senior Sergeant Roger Small said the attack had been shocking.

"Many of our officers, some who have been in the police for many years, were shocked, appalled and upset by the extreme violence suffered by Madam Tian."

Detective Sarah Cato read a statement from the family, thanking the community for their support.

"The numerous flowers and cards have warmed their hearts and encouraged them to move forward. They are satisfied that their mum will now be resting in peace."

They said they were happy with the sentence.