A man who murdered his pregnant partner by stabbing her more than 20 times has had his appeal to reduce his sentence rejected.
The man, known only as Akash, was sentenced last year in the High Court at Auckland after he pleaded guilty to murdering 22-year-old Auckland woman Gurpreet Kaur.
At the time of the murder, Akash was 24 years old.
In a decision released on Wednesday, the Court of Appeal shot down Akash’s argument that the judge had failed to take into account his early guilty plea and demonstration of remorse.
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According to the Court of Appeal judgment, Akash was under the influence of methamphetamine when Kaur told him in April 2016 she wanted to break off their 12-month relationship, and that the baby she was carrying was not his.
Akash reacted violently, stabbing her 29 times in her scalp, face, neck, chest and abdomen. He then dumped her body on the side of a Hampton Downs road, in north Waikato.
His appeal was considered by justices Winkelmann, Woodhouse and Collins, who ruled his 17-year minimum term of imprisonment was not manifestly unjust.
The trio ruled his slow admission of guilt, coupled with his lack of remorse did not qualify him for a shorter sentence.
“In assessing the impact this has upon the assessment of whether the minimum sentence imposed was manifestly unjust, it is relevant that Mr Akash did not immediately accept his guilt and continued to deny it when interviewed,” the decision read.
His demonstration of remorse was also questioned.
“We also agree with the judge that Mr Akash’s letter of remorse discloses an acceptance of something less than full responsibility for his actions.
“…In short, we are satisfied that the 17-year minimum term is not manifestly unjust and we should not interfere on appeal.”
At the time of her death, Kaur was about 10 weeks pregnant, and was yet to tell her family.
At Akash’s sentencing, Kaur’s father spoke of the loss of his daughter.
“We are like birds lost without one wing and can’t imagine flying again,” he said.