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The way Hayden Miles was dismembered 'defeats belief' - judge

Published: 5:40AM Wednesday June 05, 2013 Source: ONE News

The family of a Christchurch teenager who was murdered and then cut up into parts with a saw has today welcomed the sentencing of his killer, but say "life should mean life".

Gavin Gosnell was today sentenced to a minimum of 18 years in prison for the murder of Hayden Miles.

He was earlier found guilty of killing and dismembering the 15-year-old in August 2011.

Justice Chisolm said at the sentencing hearing that the way Miles' body was cut up "defeats belief".

Hayden Miles' auntie Sandy Ward said her family was "really thankful" to Justice Chisolm for handing down his sentence today, saying "the judge has given as much as he can".

"But we believe life should mean life in prison."

Jacqui Miles said outside court today after the sentencing: "This is for you Hayden. We did it. 18 years. I love you."

She spoke on behalf of her son in court today: "Hayden has no voice so I will speak for him. How dare you beat and torment me. How dare you dismember my body and hide me in graves. You took away my life and future."

Justice Chisholm told the High Court in Christchurch today that it was a prolonged and violent attack.

He also said it was extreme brutality repeated over and over again.

"You set out to be cruel," he said.

"This was a heartless and despicable act."

Chisholm did however acknowledge Gosnell's hard upbringing.

In a rare move Gosnell addressed the court this morning saying that he was not a murderer.

"I take full responsibility for assaulting Hayden and for carrying out the act of dismemberment. I cannot however take responsibiliy for death or that of his murder."

He said it killed him that Miles was dead, and he was ashamed as a father and as a person of his actions.

He requested an appeal and his sentence to be put off. But Chisholm declined and proceeded to hand down a sentence of a minimum 18 years in jail.

'I'm tormented by visions'

Hayden Miles' mother said she is tormented by what Gosnell did to her son.

Jacqui Miles told the court at the sentencing hearing of Gosnell in Christchurch this morning that the thought of what Gosnell did to Hayden makes her physically sick everyday.

She told the court in her victim impact statement that a part of her died when Hayden did.

"I'm tormented by visions of Gosnell beating Hayden, while he cried trying to make him stop and Gosnell was just laughing and mocking him."

She says her family now battles panic attacks and depression and she says that her daughter's "innocence has died".

She finished her statement by expressing how she hopes karma will get Gosnell.

Hayden Miles' aunty's victim impact statement earlier described to the court that she hoped the sentence would allow her to tell her children that the "evil" man would never be able to hurt anyone again.

"I want to be able to tell them [my children] that Hayden has justice."

One family member looked Gosnell in the eye and told him of the emotions she has been through.

Gosnell showed no emotion through the victim statements.
 
During the course of the seven-day trial in April the court heard how Gosnell repeatedly beat Miles before showering him and putting him on a couch at his Cashel Street flat on August 22.

On finding him dead on the morning of August 23, Gosnell cut Miles' body into twelve pieces using a bread knife and jigsaw, and buried the remains in three separate locations in two Christchurch graveyards, and the backyard of his flat.

It was four months before Miles' remains were discovered.

 

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