Grieving family hopes for murderer’s rehabilitation

The daughter of murdered Wellington man Donald Stewart hopes his teenage killer will be rehabilitated in prison.

Connor Rewha Te Wara, 15, pleaded guilty to murdering Mr Stewart, 74, on June 27 last year.

Te Wara was just 14-year-old when he and his associates – Ben Purua, then 15, and William Frederick Izett, then 17, bashed the retired builder to death.

Purua and Izett later pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Mr Stewart’s body was found by a street sweeper near a public toilet in London St, central Hamilton – he died from a blow to the head.

He was last seen earlier that night filling up his 1989 Peugeot 405 at a Norton Rd service station, the same night as the All Black-Wales rugby test in the city.

Mr Stewart’s daughter, Tracey Stewart, said she hoped the trio’s sentencing at the High Court in Hamilton on Friday would address their rehabilitative needs.

“That would be wonderful if that happened,” she said.

“One is being sentenced for murder and two for manslaughter so they’ll have different sentences but rehabilitation is definitely a big part of what we’d like to see.

“It’s hard to know what systems are in place because we haven’t been through this before but that’s definitely something we want for them.”

Ms Stewart said she and her uncle, Gordon Stewart, would read their victim impact statements to the court.


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