A man who chased his wife down the road armed with a knife and repeatedly stabbed her in the head while she sought shelter in a stranger’s home has been sentenced to six and a half years in prison.

Mataafa Taoipu Ae appeared at the High Court in Auckland today after pleading guilty to attempted murder and breaching a protection order.

Justice Moore told Ae that domestic violence – in all its forms – was a scourge on the community and could not be tolerated by the courts.

“Violence in relationships, predicated on trust and respect, will not be tolerated in our community.”

The 66-year-old drank two litres of red wine at his Manurewa house while his wife was at church in August last year.

Ae grew obsessively angry and “smouldered” about how his wife had treated his children from his first marriage. He phoned her at church, telling her to come home, before laying out two lengths of rope and three knives in the hallway.

When his wife arrived home an argument broke out and Ae picked up a knife.

His wife ran from the house and Ae chased her down the road to a stranger’s home where she sought shelter.

Jusitce Moore said Ae cornered his wife in the sunroom and stood over her while he repeatedly stabbed her and rained blows on her head.

Ae’s wife held up her hands in defence and nearly lost a finger in the attack, which left her with severe cuts to her head, arms and hands.

The attack happened in front of witnesses.

“It was a premeditated and determined attack,” Justice Moore said.

When police caught up with him a short time later, Ae told them he had been “100 percent committed” to killing his wife.

“You said you laid out the rope and knife to scare her and you describe the weapon as just a butter knife,” Justice Moore said.

But the judge said a glance at photos of the victim’s injuries put paid to that claim.

The judge said Ae’s wife had taken out a protection order back in 2007.

Ae’s lawyer Kahungunu Barron-Afeaki told the court his client was truly sorry for what he had done and showed the judge a letter of apology addressed to his wife.

He said Ae’s marriage had been rocky for years and the events in August last year were as a result of the pressure being released in one moment.

Mr Barron-Afeaki said his client had already completed two courses while in prison on remand and was willing to do more.

He said Ae suffered from heart problems, gout and stomach ulcers and had a hard path ahead of him, but he also had the love and support of his family and hoped that his wife would one day forgive him.

In sentencing, Justice Moore took time off Ae’s sentence for his remorse and his early guilty plea. A charge of aggravated burglary and threatening to kill was withdrawn by the Crown.