Gaelene Bright, 69, is described as a caring and loving mother and grandmother. (File photo)
A Northland man who admitted murdering his partner Gaelene Bright – a loving grandmother – has been sentenced to life in prison.
Bright, 69, was a mother of five and nana to six, described as caring, kind and honest.
But in the High Court in Whangārei on Thursday, Justice Peter Andrew said it was a “heartless and wholly inexcusable crime”, despite his guilty plea.
Phillimore was sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum period of imprisonment of 13 years.
The court heard how Bright and Phillimore lived together in a remote property near Waipoua Forest, described as a “hippy” Hokianga site.
But their three-year relation started to sour, particularly after Phillimore attended the Parliament protest in Wellington early in 2022.
He admitted killing Bright with three potentially fatal shots – two to the head and one to the chest.
“It was, as the Crown as submitted, an execution-style murder,” Justice Andrew said.
Phillimore disposed of Bright’s body in the forest, later moving it further from the road and covering it with leaves and twigs.
He then lit a fire to dispose of pieces of evidence and left the scene, heading to Napier, where he was picked up by police, naked on the foreshore.