Raglan shooting: Australian tourist Sean McKinnon's fiancée speaks out as accused pleads guilty to his murder

Sean McKinnon.
Sean McKinnon. Photo credit: Facebook / Sean McKinnon

The Hamilton man accused of murdering an Australian tourist has pleaded guilty.

Mark Robert Garson was accused of fatally shooting 33-year-old Sean McKinnon in his campervan in August 2019. He was also charged with threatening to kill McKinnon's Canadian fiancée, Bianca Buckley.

In the Hamilton High Court on Wednesday, Garson pleaded guilty to murdering McKinnon and also to threatening to kill Buckley.

McKinnon had been asleep with Buckley when the gunman attempted to steal their campervan last year at Te Toto Gorge carpark, near Raglan, on August 16. McKinnon was shot while his fiancée was able to escape.

His body was later found in the back of the stolen van roughly 80km away near Hamilton.

Garson will be remanded in custody until his sentencing, which is due on December 9.

Through victim advocate Ruth Money on Wednesday, Buckley said she is "tired of hearing about the murderer".

"I don't think I need to spell out the magnitude of the impact that murdering my future husband before my eyes and then threatening to kill me has had on the life of myself and our loved ones," she said.

"No punishment he ever receives will balance out his wrongdoing. I'm just glad he has finally stopped wasting everyone's time by pleading guilty."

Bianca Buckley and Sean McKinnon.
Bianca Buckley and Sean McKinnon. Photo credit: Facebook / Sean McKinnon

McKinnon's sister Emmeline said of her brother the day after his death that he was a "real character" who loved to surf and travel.

"Sean was a wonderful person and we loved him very deeply," she said.

"I was devastated to hear that his life had been taken from him. The worst thing was telling my mother. He was my mum's favourite.

"He was very well-loved, he was a real character, and we just don't know how to put life together without him being here."

According to Emmeline, McKinnon often travelled to New Zealand - in between jobs - to visit Buckley.

"Sean loved to travel. He intermittently came home. He was terrible at keeping his phone and wallet and his passport. He was constantly keeping Ray Ban sunglasses in business."