Tamati Mason has admitted stabbing a Tauranga woman to death and trying to kill her daughter in an attack at the woman’s family home in Bellevue.
Mason, 42, pleaded guilty to the murder of Sandra Rachel Brown, 59, creche worker, and to the attempted murder of her then 27-year-old daughter Kate Iris Brown on February 20, 2011 when he appeared in Rotorua High Court on Thursday.
Tamati Mason has admitted killing Bellevue mother Sandra Brown at her home on February 20, 2011.
Until yesterday Mason was challenging the court’s right to try him, and wanted to pursue a customary law process, but changed his mind following Justice Heath’s ruling yesterday that the high court did have jurisdiction.
Prosecutor for the Crown Nick Belton says the change of plea was unexpected.
“It was a bit of a surprise yesterday,” says Nick.
“He vacated his earlier not guilty pleas and pleaded guilty to both charges.”
After entering the guilty pleas Mason was further remanded in custody until July 27 for sentence.
Mason is the ex-partner of Kate Brown. They were together for about eight years before a break up more than three years before the attack.
According to the Crown’s summary of facts, Mason met Kate Brown in the supermarket six months prior and became abusive.
In the early hours of February 20 Mason drove to the Brown’s home with the intention of damaging property.
He then punched the side window on Kate’s brother’s vehicle badly cutting his arm.
He went home bandaged himself up and returned with two knives, kicking in the front door and stabbing Sandra Brown when she walked out of her upstairs bedroom.
He then stabbed Kate Brown twice in the chest when she was alerted by her mother’s screams. There followed a verbal exchange with Kate before Mason left, calling 111 from the house phone and leaving the knives on the kitchen bench.
Mrs Brown died at the scene.
Mason was found collapsed on the footpath outside bleeding heavily from cuts to his arm and hand.
Mason will be sentence in the Rotorua High Court on July27.
The guilty plea is a great result, for everyone involed but most importantly for the family, says the police officer in charge, Detective Sergeant Pete Blackwell.