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Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Road rage incident
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: January 26, 2012
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: 1991
Victim profile: Aaron Hadfield, 27
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife
Location: Stokes Valley, Wellington, North Island, New Zealand
Status: Sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum 10-year non-parole period on March 5, 2013

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Shayd Robinson given life sentence

10-year non-parole period for murderer

March 5, 2013

A judge says he does not read much into the dramatic words of a young murderer that the victim’s blood tasted good.

In the High Court at Wellington today Shayd Robinson, 21, was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Aaron Hadfield at Stokes Valley in January last year.

The sentence carries a minimum 10-year non-parole period.

A jury found Robinson guilty on Tuesday. He is the third generation of his family to go to jail for violence.

His father was convicted of manslaughter and his grandfather had seriously wounded a man during a robbery.

In Shayd Robinson’s case he and another man who had been walking in the Lower Hutt suburb on a summer’s evening had taken exception to Mr Hadfield’s driving.

There was evidence that the two were crossing a street into which Mr Hadfield turned at speed and apparently without indicating.

Robinson’s companion shouted and Mr Hadfield stopped his car and responded. Robinson attacked Mr Hadfield with his fists and his companion joined in.

Justice Miller said he accepted that Mr Hadfield had grabbed Robinson’s hoodie and Robinson probably stabbed him to make him let go.

Mr Hadfield had not been attacking Robinson but if he had using a knife was grossly excessive, the judge said.

After the stabbing Robinson told Mr Hadfield that that was what he got for messing with Robinson. Witnesses said he also said words to the effect of “Your blood tastes sweet”, or “I like the taste of your blood”.

Justice Miller said he did not read much in to those dramatic statements which he thought were “mouthing off” in the heat of the moment.

A minor confrontation had got out of hand and ended badly because a weapon was used.

He accepted Robinson did not intend to kill Mr Hadfield but had acted recklessly with a weapon.

The judge said Robinson had a difficult time growing up in what was clearly a rough neighbourhood, his parents were drug users and his father was a violent man.

Justice Miller said he feared for the future of Robinson’s younger sister Ellanah Robinson.

The court had heard that Shayd Robinson had been attacked on the street in 2008 and became fearful and reclusive afterwards.

He carried a knife for self defence.

Despite his circumstances Robinson had no previous convictions which the judge said was “quite an achievement”.

The confrontation with Mr Hadfield should have ended in an exchange of words but his behaviour did not justify the attack that was launched upon him.

Hadfield was a hard-working scaffolder, a good partner and family man. He had two children, the youngest is now two years old.

His partner, Kiri Hughes, has moved out of Wellington to help her cope with his absence, Justice Miller said.


Blood-licking killer found guilty

By Matthew Backhouse -

May 1, 2013

A KILLER who licked blood from a knife after stabbing a young father of two could be sentenced for murder as early as this week.

Shayd Robinson, 21, was found guilty of murdering Stokes Valley father Aaron Hadfield, 27, in the High Court at Wellington in New Zealand on Tuesday.

The Crown alleged Robinson stabbed Hadfield in the chest through the window of the victim's car after an altercation over his driving on January 26 last year.

Mr Hadfield had been returning home from picking up prescription medicine for one of his young children.

Robinson's defence lawyer, Mike Antunovic, said he acted in self-defence.

The jury last week heard how Robinson had wiped a knife across his mouth and called out something like "your blood tastes sweet" to his victim.

They returned a guilty verdict yesterday on the seventh day of the trial.

Robinson could now be sentenced as early as this week, with a provisional sentencing date set for this Friday.

The Crown is expected to confirm the sentencing date today.

Robinson's conviction comes after an earlier trial was aborted in November last year when one of the jurors revealed they knew information about the case.

It can now also be revealed that the man who sparked the attack that ended with Mr Hadfield's death was sentenced to four months' home detention.

William Axl Stark, 23, punched Mr Hadfield through a car window and kicked his car door just moments before Robinson stabbed him. He then fled without offering any help as Mr Hadfield bled to death.

Details of Stark's offending were suppressed until the jury in the Robinson trial returned their verdict yesterday.

Stark, himself a father of two, was sentenced in the same courtroom in November last year after pleading guilty to charges of assault and intentional damage.

He instigated the fatal confrontation with a volley of abuse after he and Robinson were almost run over by Mr Hadfield's car as they stepped onto an intersection in the Lower Hutt suburb of Stokes Valley.

A heated exchange followed when Mr Hadfield reversed his car, lowered his window and gestured aggressively at the men.

Stark punched Mr Hadfield several times through the car window and kicked and kneed the car door.

Robinson joined in before stabbing Mr Hadfield in the chest.

At sentencing last year, Justice Ronald Young said he must sentence Stark for assault rather than Mr Hadfield's death.

"But of course part of what happened here was that this man died, and the effect on his family has been understandably catastrophic.

"The fact is that you played a part in the events that ultimately gave rise to the death of this man and that is, and should be, on your conscience."

The Crown had pushed for Stark to be sentenced to close to the maximum of one year in prison, to be served as home detention.

Prosecutor Kate Feltham submitted that Stark offered no help when it became clear Mr Hadfield was seriously injured and, although he could not be sentenced for the death, it should be taken into context.

Defence lawyer Bryan Yeoman submitted that Stark had already spent about six weeks in custody and a sentence of three months was appropriate.

Justice Young sentenced Stark to four months' home detention at his grandmother's house in Featherston, starting from November 12 last year - the same day that Robinson's first aborted murder trial began.

He took into account Stark's guilty plea and the time already spent in custody.

The address was deemed suitable after Child Youth and Family raised concerns about Stark serving the sentence at the house he shares with his partner and children.

Stark has two previous convictions for assault among his 25 convictions since 2006.


Young killer follows in father's footsteps

By Sam Boyer -

January 5, 2013

A young killer seen licking his victim's blood after stabbing him has followed in his father's and grandfather's violent footsteps.

Shayd Robinson, 21, was convicted of murder yesterday for stabbing Aaron Hadfield to death during a road rage attack in January last year.

His father, Tom Robinson, has also stabbed and killed someone, and his grandfather, Benjamin Robinson, almost killed a man when he shot him in the back during an armed robbery.

Shayd Robinson's victim died less than 20 metres from where his father's victim died, just across the intersection of George and Logie streets in Stokes Valley.

Robinson was found guilty by a jury of seven men and five women in the High Court at Wellington last night after 7 1/2 hours of deliberation. They rejected his claim that he was acting in self-defence.

Robinson admitted stabbing Hadfield once but said it was out of panic. It was alleged he licked the knife afterwards and said something like: "Your blood tastes sweet," or "I like the taste of your blood".

Robinson said he did not remember even seeing blood on the knife, let alone licking the knife or using those words.

His victim's father, James Hadfield, said the verdict was the right decision.

"As best as the law allows, justice was done. He was given a fairer trial than Aaron was.

"We'd like to thank the police and the detectives involved in bringing some sort of justice to Aaron. Whatever the result, it was never going to bring Aaron back."

It can also now be revealed that Axl Stark, 23, who was also involved in the attack, pleaded guilty to charges of assault and intentional damage. He was sentenced in November to four months' home detention.

He threw punches at Hadfield and kneed and kicked the driver's door of his car. The sentencing was suppressed until the end of Robinson's trial.

Robinson's murder conviction marks a horrific escalation of violence within three generations of his family.

In 1994, his father stabbed cousin Royston Hughes to death during a dispute over a car stereo. After a brief scuffle outside his flat, Tom Robinson went into his house for a blunt knife. Returning to the fight, he stabbed his cousin four times.

He claimed self-defence, saying his cousin had cut himself on the knife as he lunged forward, though a pathologist at the time said all four stab wounds went deeply downwards and the killer blow was delivered to the hilt. Robinson was convicted of manslaughter.

In 1981, Ben Robinson - who now goes by the name Chay Karnn - shot a pub manager in the back after ordering him to the ground during an armed robbery at the Grand National pub in Petone.

He took $12,000 and left, having blown a large hole in the back of Rick Bullock. Police initially labelled the incident "cold-blooded in the extreme". Ben Robinson had loaded and cocked the gun before confronting Bullock, who spent six weeks in hospital recovering from his injuries.

After three months on the run, Ben Robinson was caught and confessed. He was convicted of aggravated robbery and "injuring in such circumstances that, had death ensued, he would have been guilty of manslaughter".

Robinson's family declined to comment after last night's verdict.

Associate Professor Devon Polaschek, a forensic psychologist at Victoria University, said criminal behaviour was often passed between generations.

"It's very common for serious crime and violence to run in families. If people [think] that violence is OK or that violence is a way of solving problems . . . that sort of attitude or belief can be passed on."

Family history could also play a part in how the children learned to interact, she said. When both Shayd and Tom Robinson were children, their fathers were in prison for violent offending.

"Having weapons around the house, people get used to being around them. And there's a particular way of looking at the world . . . [where] you learn to misread hostility in others.

"So you see the world as a bit dog-eat-dog, and that's passed on down the generations, and that's why you might find yourself carrying a knife . . . and then you're much more likely to get into situations where someone's likely to get hurt."

Robinson, a first offender, has been remanded in custody for sentencing at a later date.



On January 12, 1981, aged 25, he broke into the Grand National pub in Petone, wearing a balaclava and carrying a sawnoff shotgun. He pointed the gun at 42-year-old manager Rick Bullock and told him to open the safe, before ordering him to lie on the floor.

After taking $12,000, he shot Bullock in the back from close range, in what police initially called "a cold-blooded . . . premeditated attempt to kill".

Bullock suffered an 11cm-by-5cm wound to his lower back and spent six weeks in hospital.

Robinson remained on the run for three months, during which time he claimed to have spent all the money. He burned his clothes on Petone beach after the robbery and threw his shotgun into the sea at Makara.

On May 15, he pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and discharging a weapon causing injury. The shooting was downgraded to accidental discharge after Robinson's confession. He was jailed for six years.


Fatally stabbed his cousin, Royston Hughes, during a dispute over a car stereo on February 20, 1994.

Hughes, who had a wife and three children, had visited Robinson's Stokes Valley home, annoyed that a car he had bought from him a month earlier for $400 had no stereo in it. After some shouting and shoving, Robinson, 20, went into his flat and picked up a small blunt knife with which he stabbed Hughes four times.

Robinson's father, Ben, found him cowering in a corner shortly after the stabbing, "shaking and rocking back and forwards like a child does".

Robinson was jailed for four years for manslaughter. He is now waiting to be sentenced for another stabbing incident, after pleading guilty on April 16 to wounding Brendon Oliver with intent to injure. The two men, who knew each other, had a fight in the doorway of a pharmacy, during which Robinson stabbed Oliver in the hip. He pleaded guilty on the basis of self-defence, though he admitted using a knife was excessive in the circumstances.

Robinson has had several convictions since killing his cousin. The most significant were possessing a firearm and ammunition in 2000, for which he was sentenced to periodic detention, and a Summary Offences Act conviction in 2005 for possessing a knife in a public place.


Stabbed and killed motorist Aaron Hadfield, 27, on January 26 last year, in Stokes Valley.

Robinson and Axl Stark were walking along the street as Hadfield drove past and, according to Robinson, almost struck Stark.

Hadfield stopped his car and Robinson and Stark threw punches at him. Robinson then reached into the car and stabbed Hadfield once in the chest. The blow struck his heart and lung.

Witnesses said they saw Robinson lick the blade of the knife and they heard him tell his dying victim that he liked the taste of his blood.

Hadfield, who had a partner and two children, was taken to hospital but died early the next day.


Road rage murder trial: 'Fight like a man'

By Rebecca Quilliam -

November 12, 2012

A man who had been fatally stabbed shouted after his alleged attackers they should "fight like a man'', a court has been told today.

Witnesses also told the jury in the High Court at Wellington today that they saw a young man lick a bloodied knife he allegedly used to fatally stab Stokes Valley father of two Aaron Hadfield and saying the blood tasted "sweet''.

Shayd Robinson, 20, is on trial for the murder of 27-year-old Mr Hadfield.

Mr Hadfield was stabbed after an alleged road rage incident as he was returning home from picking up prescription medicine for one of his young children on January 26.

A jury was sworn in this morning for a trial, but after lunch, it was reduced to 11 after one of the jury members had been excused by Justice Ronald Young.

A young witness this afternoon said she saw the fight between Mr Hadfield, Robinson and his friend William Stark.

"I saw them punching the driver.''

She said when they were walking away, she saw Robinson holding a small knife.

''(Robinson) said 'I like the taste of your blood' and he licked the knife.''

She said while the young men were walking away, Mr Hadfield called after them.

"He said 'next time you want to fight, fight like a man without weapons'.''

Under cross-examination she told defence lawyer Mike Antunovic that before the fight, she saw the car drive close by Robinson and Stark.

Mr Antunovic suggested the witnesses may have heard from another witness about Robinson allegedly licking the knife and talking about how sweet the blood tasted.

The witnesses denied this and said she saw it.

The witness said she did not see Robinson's tongue on the knife, and conceded he may have been wiping his face with his sleeve while he was holding the knife.

Another witness Kerry-Anne Hirini told the court earlier she also saw the incident.

She said there was a "frenzy'' of punches inflicted by the men on Mr Hadfield through the driver's window.

When Ms Hirini walked closer, she recognised Robinson, whom she had known for many years, and said he was holding a small knife.

"I'm sure that I saw Shayd lick the knife. I wish I hadn't,'' she said.

"He said `Your blood tastes sweet'.''

Ms Hirini helped Mr Hadfield out of the vehicle and tried to stem the blood flow.

While they were waiting for emergency services, Mr Hadfield spoke about wanting to be with his family.

"He just kept saying he wanted to get home to his partner and kids.''

Under cross-examination, she also told Mr Antunovic that Robinson could have been wiping his sleeve across his face and not licking the knife.

"I didn't see his tongue on the blade,'' she said.

She said Robinson wasn't behaving like he normally behaved, and he looked "wired'' and it was as though she was not even there.

This morning crown prosecutor Ian Murray told the jury that Mr Hadfield was stabbed once in the chest and the knife pierced his heart and lung.

He died the next morning in hospital.

Mr Antunovic said Robinson admitted he stabbed Mr Hadfield, but it was in self-defence.

The trial has been set down for two weeks and more than 50 witnesses are expected to be called.



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