31 Aug 2015

Accused 'never intended' to murder partner

6:30 pm on 31 August 2015

The Crown says anger got the better of Jiwan Ram during an argument with his partner and he stabbed her multiple times.

Auckland High Court.

Photo: RNZ

Mr Ram denies a charge of murdering Bimla Wati and is on trial at the High Court in Auckland.

Today, Crown prosecutor Dale Dufty told the court that the couple were intially arguing in their bedroom when the couple's flatmates heard Ms Wati scream.

Mr Dufty said the flatmate, Hardeep Singh went to investigate.

"Hardeep was first out to the lounge area. He saw Mr Ram standing over the top of Ms Wati. She was on the floor with her head on the seat cover of the sofa," he said.

"Hardeep saw Mr Ram's right hand pressed up against Ms Wati's rib area. He called out to Mr Ram which made Mr Ram stand up straight. Hardeep then saw Mr Ram pull out from Ms Wati's torso area a large kitchen knife," Mr Dufty said.

"Hardeep shouted out to him, he'll tell you Mr Ram appeared to get angry and told Hardeep to get out of the house."

Mr Ram's lawyer Hugh Leabourn told the court his client had no conscious process and no intent to kill his partner.

How it started

Mr Dufty said Mr Ram and Ms Wati had both been married befrore and had children from their past relationships.

He said Ms Wati's daughter, who lives in Stratford, had just given birth and Ms Wati wanted Mr Ram to take her down to Taranaki for a visit.

Mr Dufty said during an interview with the police, Mr Ram said he didn't want to go until the pair had money and could buy some baby things.

Mr Dufty said during a lull in the argument, Ms Wati called her niece, Rangeeta Gounder, and asked her to come home.

But before Ms Gounder could get home, the argument flared up again and Mr Ram stabbed Ms Wati six times.

Mr Dufty said one of the cuts went through an artery, while another punctured her lungs.

The defence

Mr Ram's lawyer Hugh Leabourn said while his client could be found guilty of manslaughter, he was not guilty of murder.

He said the defence accepted that Mr Ram caused the death but he did not intend to kill her.

Mr Leabourn said the wounds were inflicted quickly but without intent, and without a conscious process.

Evidence from the niece

Ms Gounder arrived home only minutes after the stabbing, bringing her daughter with her.

She met the flatmates in the driveway, where one of them told her that her uncle had stabbed auntie.

Ms Gounder said she tried to go inside but the door was locked so she called out.

Ms Gounder said when Mr Ram came to the door, he told her it was too late and she has gone.

She said she saw blood on Mr Ram and was too scared to go inside the house.

She said Mr Ram looked proud but also sorry for what he had done.

Under cross-examination from Mr Leabourn, Ms Gounder agreed that the couple loved each other a lot and although they had arguments, they would always make up.