Gabriel Yad-Elohim sentenced to life over Western Springs murder

The daughter of a 69-year-old man who was murdered last year has described her heartbreak in court. 

The murderer, 30-year-old man Gabriel Yad-Elohim, has been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum non-parole period of 13 years.

He was found guilty at Auckland's High Court in August and was given his sentence on Thursday. He had sought a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity.

The victim, Michael Mulholland, was stomped to death in the stairwell of his Western Springs home on September 26 last year over a botched drug deal. 

A trans-woman took Yad-Elohim to the victim's house, where she told him she could buy drugs for him. But it is unknown if the victim ever even had any drugs to sell, and it is understood the woman was trying to con Yad-Elohim.

The woman fled the scene, leaving Yad-Elohim wondering why he had not received the drugs he was promised. So he approached the victim, and lashed out in anger for being duped.

The victim's daughter, dressed in black, addressed the court on Thursday on her 32nd birthday in front of a full public gallery.

Her birthday last year was the last time she spoke to Mr Mulholland, she said.

Her father told her "how much he loved me and how proud of me he was".

"I wouldn't wish this upon anyone," she said.

"When my Dad's life was brutally stomped out, my life stopped."

She said her father's body was so disfigured he was not able to be embalmed properly.

It was the hardest thing she could have experienced, she told the court through tears.

"This is the type of heartbreak I will have to deal with for the rest of my life."

She used the opportunity to address her father's murderer by telling him more about her father.

He was known to close ones as Mike or Goose, she said.

"She was not the man you thought he was."

He was an old man most likely "chilling" in his house having a beer, likely watching television that day, she said.

He had travelled the world by boat when he was younger and got around Auckland recently by push bike.  He collected VCRs and National Geographic magazines. He did not have much but his greatest treasures were his family, she said.

The impact of the trial and the publicity around her father's death had been great.

She owned a florist shop which her father was very proud of, but she had since lost it, she said.

"I will never be able to... tell him I love him or hear that he loves me," she said.

Yad-Elohim, who has chronic schizophrenia, was given the opportunity to address the court.

Through an interpreter he said he was mentally ill when he killed Mr Mulholland - the argument his defence team gave in the trial.

In sentencing, Justice van Bohemen said the murder involved a "high degree of brutality" with more than 60 blows to the victim's head and a further 30 to Mr Mulholland's body.

The brutality of the murder was "savage violence", he said.

Yad-Elohim was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum non-parole period of 13 years.