Dunedin man Stephen Findlay sentenced to life imprisonment for murder

Dunedin man Stephen Findlay has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of a 54-year-old woman.

Sharon Comerford was murdered in her home in the small community of Seacliff, north of Dunedin, where Findlay lived in a caravan next door, on March 7 last year.

He inflicted 12 blows to her head with a blunt instrument leaving her skull deformed.

Findlay, 61, who pleaded guilty of murder, was found by authorities the next day at the nearby Truby King Reserve with gunshot injuries to his head.

A Crown prosecutor told the court the murder was premeditated and Findlay had previously talked about killing Ms Comerford.

The court also heard the pair had disputes and arguments for many years before the murder including physical abuse.

Two of Ms Comerford's sisters gave impact statements where one said her life had changed forever and spoke about being physically drained from dealing with the death of her sibling.

He will serve a minimum non-parole period of 11 years.