Antonie Dixon (Antonie Roni Dixon)

Antonie Dixon

Antonie Dixon attacked both of his partners, Renee Gunbie and Simonne Butler, with a Samurai sword at Pipiroa on 21 January 2003. Before the sword broke, Gunbie’s left hand was completely severed and both of Butler’s arms were partially severed. After stealing a vehicle and travelling to Auckland, Dixon fatally shot James Te Aute in Highland Park with a burst of ten bullets from a homemade sub-machine gun. He then took a man hostage and engaged in a standoff with the police. Eleven hours after he started, Dixon surrendered to the New Zealand Police. He used methamphetamine throughout the episode. Renee Gunbie lost her left hand; Simonne Butler’s arms were both reattached. During his trial, Antonie Dixon advanced a defence based primarily on insanity. Throughout much of the trial he bore a wild, wide-eyed look and an odd haircut. Photographs of this appearance featured in leading newspapers around the country. At the conclusion of the trial, he was convicted of murder, wounding, kidnapping, shooting at police and aggravated burglary; he was acquitted on five charges of attempted murder. For the murder, he was sentenced to life imprisonment with 20 years’ minimum non-parole.

Antonie Dixon appealed against his conviction to the Court of Appeal of New Zealand with several arguments. First, it was argued that the trial judge, Judith Potter, did not properly instruct the jury on the law relating to insanity. Second, it was argued that manslaughter should have been available to the jury as an alternative verdict to murder. On 7 September 2007 the Court of Appeal overturned Dixon’s convictions and ordered a new trial. The retrial began in June 2008 and concluded with a second guilty verdict on 30 July 2008. Dixon was remanded in custody pending a sentencing hearing set down for 5 February 2009. Dixon was reported to have made it known that he intended to appeal against the outcome of this second trial as well. A cousin of Dixon’s was later jailed for attempting to bribe a juror during Dixon’s second trial. During a prison interview on 17 January 2009, Dixon attempted to pull a “makeshift weapon” on his lawyer, Barry Hart. Prison staff intervened quickly to subdue Dixon and avoid any injury to Hart. Corrections Minister Judith Collins was informed of the incident and ordered a full report. She also encouraged Hart to lay a complaint with police. Hart chose not to lay a formal complaint as he felt that his client was suffering from severe mental health issues. On National Radio on the afternoon of 4 February, Hart denied that an attack had happened at all, refusing to speak further about it with the interviewer. At 10:30 PM on 4 February 2009, the night before his scheduled re-sentencing, Dixon was found dead in his cell at Auckland Prison. It was reported the next morning that he had died of self-inflicted injuries. However, Mr. Hart said his client had refused to take his medication and had been beaten up several times by inmates. Hart said he was aware that Dixon’s mental health was deteriorating rapidly when he had spoken to him the month before. He told Newstalk ZB his client should have been put into a psychiatric unit, not a prison cell, and said the Corrections Department “stuffed up”.

Born

  • January, 01, 1968

Died

  • February, 04, 2009
  • Paremoremo, New Zealand

Cause of Death

  • suicide

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