Notorious samurai sword killer, Antonie Dixon, used a strip of so called 'anti-suicide blanket' to strangle himself in his prison cell, an inquest into his death has heard today.
Dixon, 40, was jailed in 2005 for murdering a man and using a samurai sword to mutilate two women while on a drug fuelled rampage.
He was found dead in his cell in the high-risk unit of Paremoremo Prison in Auckland on February 4, 2009, the day before he was due to be sentenced.
During the inquest hearing at the Coroner's Court in Auckland today, it was revealed that the convicted murderer had methamphetamine in his system when he died.
It was also revealed that Dixon had covered his cell security camera with toilet tissue prior to his death, which went unnoticed for five hours.
Prison guards on duty that day were also unaware that Dixon had been moved from another prison because of self-harming.
Speaking at the inquest today, a prison officer, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said the convicted killer was being checked every 15 minutes.
When he checked on Dixon again he found the prisoner unconscious and injured.
"I saw he was holding a cord around his neck and his head was bleeding," the guard said.
"He didn't appear to be stretching the cord."
Medical evidence suggests Dixon had hit his head against the cell wall before collapsing.
He had created a noose from a so-called 'anti-suicide blanket'.
The guard called for help, but because it was policy that four guards were needed to open Dixon's cell it was several minutes before extra guards could be summoned and CPR was performed on the unconscious prisoner.
When ambulance staff arrived he was pronounced dead at the scene.
The prison officer on duty admitted he was unaware that in extreme emergencies a guard can open a cell by himself.
But he said he still would have waited for back-up.
"We have enough assaults, people being killed on the job, we can't compromise on safety," he told coroner Garry Evans.
Earlier Dixon's brother objected to the inquest being held in public.
Julian Dixon said he thought the inquest would be held in private and was concerned it would turn into a media spectacle.
However, Evans said there was no such thing as a "private" inquest.
Evans said there had been allegations corrections covered up the circumstances of Dixon's death and the public should hear the evidence.
In January 2003, Dixon went on a methamphetamine-fuelled rampage, shooting dead James Te Aute and severing the hands of Renee Hills and Simonne Butler with a samurai sword.
Dixon was convicted in 2005 of murder, grievous bodily harm, firearm charges, shooting at police, and kidnapping.
However, the Court of Appeal quashed Dixon's convictions in 2007, ruling the judge had erred in the summing up of the case.
In August 2008, Dixon was again found guilty on the eight charges he faced following a second jury trial.
He was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum non-parole period of 20 years.
At the time of Dixon's death, his lawyer Barry Hart spoke of his growing concern for his client's mental health.
In the month before his death, Dixon had also pulled a makeshift weapon on Hart.
The inquest is expected to continue for another two days.