Flatmate saw murder-accused pull knife out

  • 01/09/2015
Police (File)
Police (File)

An Auckland man heard a loud scream and found his flatmate Jiwan Ram standing over his partner Bimla Wati, pulling a bloody knife from her chest as he held her down on the couch, a court has been told.

"Uncle, what are you doing?" Hardeep Singh asked Ram, who shouted: "Get out of the house".

Former taxi driver Ram, 63, is on trial at the High Court in Auckland accused of murdering his 47-year-old de facto partner by stabbing her six times with a large kitchen knife, at one point thrusting it so deep that the entire blade was in her chest.

On Tuesday, Mr Singh described how Ms Wati had seemed "normal, calm, just like every day" on the night of November 3 last year.

While he and his cousin Paramvir Singh were doing their dinner dishes, they heard Ms Wati and Ram fighting on the other side of the house - the first time he'd ever heard them argue.

The couple spoke Fijian Hindi, but Hindi-speaker Mr Singh could make out one phrase, "You hurt me", which he believed was referring to emotional harm.

Mr Singh and his cousin moved to their shared room where they could still hear the couple arguing, but when he heard Ms Wati scream he ran into the lounge.

Ms Wati wasn't moving, he said.

Mr Singh said the large knife he saw Ram holding was kept in the kitchen, and was used to cut vegetables.

In a statement read out in court on Tuesday, Ms Wati's daughter Yachna Tate said Ram seemed nice during the five or six times that they met.

"They seemed happy and nice together."

Ms Wati called Ms Tate at 6pm on November 3, telling her she was coming to visit and meet her new grandchild.

"She seemed fine on the phone and seemed excited to meet the baby."

On Monday, crown lawyer Dale Dufty said Ram had told police that the pair began arguing when Ms Wati said she wanted to visit her new grandchild, but Ram said they would go when they had money.

Ram pretended to sleep to make her go away but Ms Wati went to the kitchen, got a knife, and told him to kill her.

"That's when I got really wild. She kept arguing, arguing, arguing. I just stabbed her," Ram told the police.

The defence says Ram caused Ms Wati's death, but is guilty of manslaughter - not murder.