Family reacts outside Dunedin courthouse after “cricket bat” killer was convicted

Brent Bacon’s sister, Lia Bezett, with her husband Sam, said the guilty verdict was a relief but did not ease their pain. Photo / Gerard O’Brien

A father of three in Dunedin who was beaten to death with a cricket bat was “a funny, intelligent and loyal soul,” says his family.

Lia Bezett fought back tears as she spoke before the Dunedin High Court after John Kenneth Collins, 39, was found guilty of killing her brother, 45-year-old Brent Andrew Bacon.

The court heard that the sentence represented the killer’s second strike under the three strikes regime, under which he would be jailed for life without parole unless deemed “manifestly unfair.”

Collins’ first strike came in 2015 for indecent assault, according to the Otago Daily Times.

The brutal killing, which took place in a cramped unit in St Clair on February 4, 2019, left Bacon’s family devastated and looking for answers.

Brent Bacon’s body was found in the Seacliff countryside on February 18, 2019. Photo / Provided

He had been missing for two weeks before his brother-in-law, Sam Bezett, broke down the apartment door and faced the bloody scene.

On the same day, the victim’s body was found on a secondary country road 35 km north of …

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