Samuel Pou faced a retrial in the High Court in Whangārei for the death of Bridget Simmonds.
A Whangārei man has been found guilty of murdering his girlfriend in a fatal beating in 2019.
Samuel Hamuera Pou, 60, has been on trial at the High Court in Whangārei for the murder of 42-year-old Bridget Odelle Simmonds.
But, more than a year later, Pou admitted Simmonds died after he beat her for about 90 minutes, delivering 100 blows to her legs and hands.
In a police interview played to the jury, he said he didn’t mean to kill her, deliberately concentrating his blows onto her legs so that she didn’t die.
Pou also led police to her remains, which were in a shallow ditch at a rural property west of Whangārei, where the pair were camping.
In court on Thursday, the jury of seven men and four women, found Pou guilty of murder, after deliberating for about three hours.
The trial, which began on July 17, is a retrial of a previous hearing.
Simmonds’ uncle, John Callen, said the family continued to grieve for Simmonds.
He previously described her as “tremendous fun”, a lovely artist, devoted mother to her two children and an adventurer.
Having to go through the trial a second time was harrowing on the family, but John Callen thanked the court support staff and the jury.
He said Pou had a rough upbringing and never knew the kind of love, support and encouragement that he, Simmonds’ late mother Carol Callen and their siblings had.
“None of that, in my opinion, justifies anything but it might help explain a certain attitude.
“At the heart of it, it is now more than four years since Bridget was killed and we have yet to hear one word of remorse.”
The Crown case was that Pou killed Simmonds with theintent and knowledge to be charged with murder.
Crown lawyer Mike Smith said Pou played down his involvement by saying he only concentrated his blows on Simmonds’ legs, but he never showed such restraint on two previous occasions where he beat her, and neither did he show restraint when he assaulted a previous girlfriend.
But the defence case was that Pou’s murderous intent could not be proven.
Defence lawyer Arthur Fairley said Pou came clean to police when he described the fatal beating and his attempts to keep Simmonds alive.
Fairley said his case was not to excuse his client’s “disgraceful conduct”, both in the way he treated women and in the way he hid Simmonds’ body after panicking.
Pou will next appear in court on August 4, for a sentencing date to be set.