Martin Lyttelton: Twice convicted for one crime

  • 18/05/2016
Martin Lyttelton: Twice convicted for one crime

Martin Lyttelton has already served a sentence for an attempted murder. In trying to clear his name afterwards, he's been sent back to jail for the same crime.

But it's not clear yet if the Auckland businessman will have to serve any of the seven-year sentence he was handed today.

The 57-year-old in 2008 pleaded guilty to trying to kill former business partner Richard Ord, along with shooting Ord's partner, Colleen Fenton, at their North Shore home.

But after being released on parole halfway through his sentence of five years and 11 months, Lyttelton won a bid to have his guilty plea thrown out, which meant he stood trial again for the same crime in a bid to clear his name.

A jury in the High Court at Auckland found him guilty of the crime again in March and, today, Justice Raynor Asher sentenced him again.

In handing down the punishment for three charges - attempted murder, aggravated robbery and causing grievous bodily harm - Justice Asher said he could not let Lyttelton off jail time, and would let the parole board work out how much more time he would now have to serve.

The new, longer sentence did not include a discount for a guilty plea like the first.

A Parole Board spokesman said it couldn't say whether Lyttelton would have to serve any more time until it had considered the judge's notes.

Comment has been sought from Corrections about what will happen to him in the mean time.

During the trial, the prosecution said Lyttelton broke into Mr Ord's North Shore house carrying a shotgun, ammunition and a knife with a plan to kill him in April 2008.

He then fired through a locked door at the home, grievously wounding Ms Fenton, on the other side.

In the ensuing struggle with Mr Ord, the weapon went off again. Lyttelton then tried to stab Mr Ord, cutting him several times, before giving up.

The pair had been business partners and their relationship had soured, ending in a legal battle that had taken a "great cost, financially and emotionally", prosecutor Scott McColgan said.

But representing himself, Lyttelton argued he had no plan to kill Mr Ord, but wanted to commit suicide in front of him.

Intense depression and a "bungled" suicide attempt had clouded his thoughts and left him like a "zombie", he said.

Justice Asher accepted Lyttelton was still suicidal at the time of the attack, but said he had murder on his mind when he drove to the couple's house.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline's 24-hour telephone counselling service on 0800 543 354.

Suicide Crisis Helpline (aimed at those in distress, or those who are concerned about the wellbeing of someone else) - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)