Clem William James Pepene
Auckland, Dec 13, 2010 NZPA - One of Paul Chong's sisters says she needed to see the man who killed her brother during his murder trial so she had a face in mind as she grieved.
Moonie Blane was reading her victim impact statement at the High Court sentencing in Auckland of Clem Pepene, who was found guilty of Mr Chong's murder in October.
Pepene, 29, who had only been released from jail five weeks before the incident, was today sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 11 years.
Mr Chong, 51, was found dead at a business property in View Rd, in the North Shore suburb of Glenfield, in May last year after he was stabbed during a drug deal argument.
Ms Blane said Mr Chong was her favourite brother, one who brought joy and happiness to everyone in her family.
She said she couldn't believe it when she heard he had been murdered.
"I would think of Paul when I was working and tears would come," she said.
"I am so very hurt and extremely angry inside. I had a compulsive need to see you at the trial. I needed a face to scream and yell my pain to."
Justice Christine French said Pepene was subject to release conditions when he and a colleague, Will Junior Dillon, went to sell 0.5g of methamphetamine to a friend of theirs for $300.
But when they got to the North Shore the friend instead took them to Mr Chong's place, which doubled as a workplace.
She said Mr Chong was a dealer in methamphetamine, or P, but did occasionally buy from others.
Justice French said Pepene and Dillon did not hand over the drugs when Mr Chong produced $300, saying that price was only agreed to as a special deal for their friend.
Heated words were exchanged between the pair and Mr Chong, who was acquainted only with Dillon, after which violence broke out.
During the fight Pepene used a knife and wounded Mr Chong three times -- twice superficially on his face, and once fatally in his chest.
"I am satisfied you did not set out or mean to kill Mr Chong," Justice French said.
"But by stabbing him in the chest, you intended to cause bodily harm knowing death was likely to be caused, yet you carried on."
Pepene and his associate then tried to cover their tracks. They washed and burned their clothes, lied to police and asked their friend to blame it on a couple of Pacific Islanders.
Justice French said Pepene had 74 previous convictions, including eight relating to violence, and his pre-sentence report said he was at high risk of reoffending.
But she said she believed Pepene, who had offered to plead guilty to manslaughter, when he said he was remorseful and he had shown attempts in prison to reform.
If he learned to control his alcohol and substance abuse and his propensity to resort to violence he could become a positive member of society, he said.
Dillon was last month jailed for two years after admitting charges of obstructing the course of justice, offering to supply methamphetamine and receiving a stolen vehicle.
Date of Birth
1981 (D.O.B. is approximate)
Three Strikes Status
Paul Louie Chong
Sentenced to eleven years minimum in December 2010
Eligible for release on parole May 2020
Additional Photos & Files
Associated Media Links Clem William James Pepene Sentencing Notes
OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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