NEWS

Killer 'hospitalised' ex-girlfriend five times

Wednesday 28 February 2007, 7:05PM
By Sam Farrow
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AUCKLAND

Northland gang member Nathan Fenton's 14-year life of crime is over for the next 17 year at least.

The 31-year-old gang member was jailed for life today for the savage murder of his teenage girlfriend which was a judge said was the result of prolonged, brutal attacke with a sawn off shotgun.

After he was jailed in the High Court in Whangarei to life in prison with a 17-year, non-parole period for murdering Mairina Dunn, 17, last year, more details emerged about his violent past.

The court heard how Fenton beat Ms Dunn with the shotgun for 90 minutes, pausing only to abuse her or catch his breath. The beating splintered the shotgun stock and deformed the barrel.

Fenton's former girlfriend, Eileen Verna Everitt, was also jailed today in a separate sentencing hearing when shocking details of Fenton's violence towards her were also revealed.

She was sent to prison for 12 months after pleading guilty to a charge of being an accessory after the fact of murder.

The court as told she helped Fenton elude police for several days.

However, her lawyer David Sayes also told the court Everitt was in a "most fragile state" when she offered to help Fenton flee from police.

Mr Sayes told the court she had been with Fenton for four years but during their relationship she had been subjected to countless episodes of violence, including severe and substantial beatings.

Fenton had put her in hospital five times after beating her with a shovel and tomahawk.

Her injuries included a broken arm, broken leg, broken jaw and a shattered pelvis. She also had a finger bitten off.

"She has really suffered horrendously at the hands of this individual," Mr Sayes said.

He said after they split up she found she was pregnant to Fenton with twins. The babies did not survive and they were buried on the same day Fenton beat Mairina Dunn to death.

She was physically frail and her "decision making was tainted with emotion and loss," Mr Sayes told Justice Tony Randerson.

After the murder of Ms Dunn Fenton picked up Everitt following her offer of help but he did not tell her of the circumstances of the murder.

She was not thinking clearly and "just wanted to see the father of her just-buried babies."

Within 24 hours he had threatened her with violence and a knife, Mr Sayes said.

As Everitt was led away, a member of Mairina Dunn's family abused her.

"You are going to suffer the same fate as your boyfriend," a man shouted from the public gallery. "You are going to die,"