Brent Scott jailed for minimum of 17 years

Brent Scott
Brent Scott

The morning Brent Scott killed his estranged wife he was due to appear in court for breaching a protection order.

Scott was sentenced to life imprisonment today with a minimum non-parole period of 17 years for the murder of 41-year-old Heidi Welman-Scott.

The horrific attack took place on Auckland’s North Shore on November 27, 2014 – when Scott also tried to kill his step-daughter and her then-boyfriend.

He pleaded guilty to one charge of murder and two of attempted murder last year.

Friends and family of the victims packed the public gallery at the High Court in Auckland this morning for Scott’s sentencing.

Ms Welman-Scott’s daughter, Taryn Welman, and her former boyfriend Matija Miletic were also there, and read emotional victim impact statements to the court.

"I often feel guilty that I was not able to help her, not able to save her that day," Ms Welman said.

Donning a white ribbon for action against family violence, Ms Welman, 23, said since her mother was killed she's had to take partial guardianship of her younger brother, who was just 14 at the time.

“No words or actions will ever be able to undo the everlasting damage that he has caused me,” she said.

Mr Miletic also read a victim impact statement referring to the trauma he experienced that day.

"I cannot put into words the horror of seeing the person you love bleeding to death on the footpath," he said.

On the day of the killing, Scott hid outside Ms Welman-Scott's Albany home for an hour and a half, and slipped in under her garage door as it closed on her return.

He then repeatedly stabbed Ms Welman-Scott with a knife, causing six major wounds, including one through her lung.

Alerted by screams, Ms Welman and Mr Miletic ran to help - but Scott then attacked the pair.

Neighbours found the injured trio lying outside the front of their home.

Ms Welman-Scott died at the scene, while her daughter underwent surgery for a punctured gallbladder, and Mr Miletic was left with internal bleeding.

Scott was later arrested at the airport, while attempting to catch a flight back to his home country of South Africa.

He had visited a travel agent numerous times through October and November to book the flight to South Africa on November 27 – he was due in court that day for breaching a protection order.

In the days leading up to the killing Scott purchased two knives – neither of which have been found – and sold his car. He told the person he sold it to that he was going back to South Africa because you couldn’t shoot or stab anyone in New Zealand, the judge said.

Scott showed no emotion as his victims read their statements to the court.

Before handing down her sentence Justice Mary Peters spoke about the consequences of Scott's actions that day.

"They are shocked, traumatised, devastated and your actions changed the course of their lives forever.

"You killed a mother, a daughter, a sister and clearly a close friend of many."

Justice Peters said the murder required lengthy planning.

Scott received a minimum sentence of 17 years for his murder conviction, and 10 years for each attempted murder to be served concurrently.