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Goff welcomes Bell sentence

Goff welcomes Bell sentence

Justice Minister Phil Goff has welcomed the sentence handed down to triple murderer William Bell today.

Bell was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 33 years without parole by the High Court in Auckland. This is the longest fixed-term prison sentence ever handed down in New Zealand.

Bell was found guilty last year of murdering Wayne Johnson, Mary Hobson and Bill Absolum, and of attempting to murder Susan Couch, at the Mt Wellington-Panmure RSA in December 2001.

"Today's sentence, following the Howse decision (28 years' non-parole for double murder), is further evidence that the new sentencing law, which requires the courts to impose the highest sentences for the worst forms of offending, is being carried out," Mr Goff said.

"The government's intentions in toughening the legislation have been acknowledged and are now clearly being put into effect by the courts."

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