Killer’s sentence stuns grandfather
David White felt his jaw drop when he heard the sentence handed down to his daughter’s killer.
Matamata horse trainer Greg Meads was sentenced in the High Court at Hamilton last week to life imprisonment for the murder of his wife, Helen, at their Banks Rd property in September 2009.
Meads has been ordered to serve 11 years in prison before he will be eligible for parole.
‘‘I was absolutely gobsmacked. I really couldn’t believe it,’’ Mr White said. ‘‘I went there thinking he would get 15 years and oddly I would have accepted 15 years. What makes a premeditated murder so acceptable? This decision has riled New Zealanders. There are a lot of people out there that just can’t believe it.’’
Meads was also directed to pay a reparation package to Mrs Meads’ family of $65,000.
Mrs Meads’ daughters Kimberly and Samantha, and her parents Mr White and his wife Pam will receive $15,000 each for emotional harm. Mrs Meads’ sister Robyn will receive $5000.
Mr White estimates Meads to be worth $15 million but he has maintained he is not in a financial position to pay child support to the Whites to assist with the cost of caring for his and Mrs Meads’ daughter Samantha.
Mr White said he and his wife were struggling financially and he often wondered what the future would be like.
‘‘I might have to put a work wanted advertisement in your paper. I have no idea how we are going to survive,’’ he said. ‘‘ We are not asking for a fortune. We are just asking for a hand.’’
Despite the events of the last year and few months, Mr White said he and his wife would continue to provide the best upbringing for their granddaughter Samantha.
‘‘This has nothing to do with finding the strength to carry on. The truth is we are knackered. But when you are a grandparent something else kicks in and you find yourself just doing it,’’ Mr White said. ‘‘Today is a new day. There is nothing else to do but go home and get on with it.’’