Aunt and mother at odds on killer's bail conditions

9:51 am on 22 June 2017

Akshay Chand's aunt has told an inquest she phoned him and visited him unannounced while he was on bail.

Amita Williams was giving evidence at the inquest into the death of Auckland teenager Christie Marceau - the 18-year-old her nephew stabbed to death.

Chand was out on bail at the time for kidnapping Ms Marceau. A month after getting bail in November 2011, he made the two-minute walk to the Marceau family home on Auckland's North Shore and killed Ms Marceau.

Mrs Williams was at all four of her nephew's bail hearings, including the one where Chand was granted bail.

Chand was represented by lawyer Mary-Anne Lowe. Her lawyer, Stuart Grieve QC, asked Mrs Williams if she recalled Ms Lowe telling the court that she and Chand's mother, Suchita, would monitor him 24 hours a day.

Mrs Williams said she couldn't recall that.

Earlier she said neither the court nor police provided her with information about her nephew's bail.

She said she and Suchita were not told they would have to supervise Chand around the clock.

That evidence contradicts Suchita's evidence.

Suchita Chand recalled giving an undertaking to Ms Lowe that she or her sister would be there to monitor Chand.

At one point during Mrs Chand's evidence, the Chand family lawyer, Alex Witten-Hannah, pointed out that adult supervision was not a condition of Chand's bail.

Mrs Chand also told the court she was never consulted by the police or the court and had nothing in writing about her responsibilities.

She confirmed to the lawyer assisting the Coroner, Hanne Janes, that she was bewildered and stressed by having her son in court. Mrs Chand said no one was there to help her and clarify what her responsibilities were once her son got bail.

During a question from Coroner Katherine Greig, she confirmed that it would have been helpful to have had someone she could talk to about the amount of responsibility she was taking on.

But she also said she believed her son was better after being put on medication and she never saw signs that he was unwell.

She did, at least initially, have concerns for her safety and hid the family kitchen knives in a compartment in the stove.

Chand's sister earlier also gave evidence at the inquest.

Shayal Chand said in her statement to the police, she was terrified for her own safety. Ms Chand said she spent as many nights as possible at her friends' houses while her brother was on bail.

The inquest was told the judge who granted Chand bail was told Ms Chand was a university student who could help supervise her brother. But Ms Chand said she was still at high school, just 17 at the time, and was studying for her Year 12 exams.

She described finding her brother gone on the morning of 7 November, 2011. Ms Chand knew her brother was on a 24-hour curfew but he wasn't in the house. She said she phoned her mother at work.

Today the inquest is due to hear evidence from Chand's lawyer, Mary-Anne Lowe.

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