15 Feb 2016

Farmer who murdered his son gets life

8:50 pm on 15 February 2016

A Taranaki farm manager has been sentenced to life in prison, with a non-parole period of 19-years, for the murder of his son.

David Roigard at his sentencing at the High Court in New Plymouth.

David Roigard will spend at least 19 years in prison. Photo: Pool photo

David Roigard was found guilty of killing his 27-year-old son, Aaron, by a jury in the High Court in New Plymouth after a five-week trial late last year.

Aaron Roigard

Aaron Roigard Photo: SUPPLIED

The 51-year-old was also found guilty of eight charges of theft in a special relationship.

Sentencing him, Justice Heath described Roigard as cruel, callous and cunning.

Aaron Roigard disappeared from his father's Opunake property in June 2014 and was initially treated as a missing person, before David Roigard was charged with his murder.

Aaron Roigard's body has never been recovered.

The jury in David Roigard's trial was told he had planned the murder because he could no longer hide his theft of more than $66,000 from Aaron.

The prosecution said Roigard hit his son over the head with a woodsplitter and disposed of the body where it could never be found.

Detective Senior Sergeant Blair Burnett outside the High Court in New Plymouth, at Taranaki farm manager David Roigard's sentencing on 15 February 2016 for the murder of his son, Aaron.

Detective Senior Sergeant Blair Burnett Photo: RNZ / Andrew McRae

Detective Senior Sergeant Blair Burnett said the police were still focused on finding Aaron's body.

Frustration levels remained high because they had not been able to return him to his partner, Julie, he said.

"Nineteen years non-parole - whether it was 10 or whether it was 20, it doesn't help us bring Aaron home.

"When you hear Julie talking about the dignity and respect he deserves, that remains a focus at the moment to try and find Aaron and bring him home."

Mr Burnett said police approached Roigard again last week but he declined to talk to them about the body.