A Dunedin man has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the "brutal" murder of 23-year-old Oamaru man James Matthew Ellis in a carpark last year.
Justice Ronald Young sentenced Peter Richard Holmes to a minimum non-parole period of 12 and-a-half years in the High Court in Dunedin this morning.
Young described the murder of Ellis as "brutal". Ellis's body was discovered at Blueskin Bay Estuary at Warrington the morning after the attack on April 1.
Young acknowledged Holmes' guilty plea in July, and reduced his sentence by 18 months.
The 26-year-old, along with father and son Dean Carruthers, 48, and Mark, 18, of Dunedin, drove their 23-year-old victim to a carpark after meeting at a party in Oamaru.
The trio drank and smoked in the carpark before the unprovoked attack began, the High Court in Dunedin heard.
Holmes punched and kicked Ellis and used objects such as a wheel brace and beer bottles in the attack.
The victim had 62 external injuries, with the majority to his head and neck.
Earlier in the night, Holmes had learned of an allegation of rape against Ellis, the court heard.
It heard that Holmes had planned to confront Ellis about the allegation, but not kill him.
Mark Carruthers, who initially participated in the attack before withdrawing, is already serving two years in jail after pleading guilty to manslaughter.
His father was yesterday sentenced to seven months' home detention for his part in Ellis' murder.