Taxi driver sentenced for knife murder

  • 12/11/2015

The death of murdered Auckland woman Bimla Wati has left a huge gap in her family's lives, a court has heard.

Her partner, 64-year-old former Auckland taxi driver Jiwan Ram has been sentenced to 11 years and five months' jail for the murder of Ms Wati with a kitchen knife.

He appeared in the High Court at Auckland today after being found guilty in September of murdering his 47-year-old de facto partner.

In November last year, Ram stabbed her six times with a large kitchen knife during an argument in the Mt Wellington house they shared with Ms Wati's niece and two boarders.

Several of Ms Wati's siblings, some visiting from Fiji, gave victim impact statements describing how difficult their lives had been emotionally and financially since her death.

They spoke of suffering sleepless nights, depression, crying at work and wishing they could have done more to prevent her death.

Funeral costs had been hugely expensive for the family, they said.

They described their sister as a happy, religious, caring woman, who was excited about seeing a newborn grandchild for the first time - a visit that never took place.

The couple had been arguing about the visit on the night of Ms Wati's death, with Ram wanting to delay it for financial reasons.

When she made a disparaging comment about Ram's mother he became enraged, picked up the knife and stabbed her, inflicting several fatal wounds.

Justice Christian Whata was not satisfied Ram had shown remorse for the murder and although there had been slight provocation from Ms Wati, it was not a mitigating factor in determining his sentence.

"The speed and intensity of your violent attack meant that Bimla had no opportunity to defend herself," he said.

No offence taken by Ram at Ms Wati's comments could justify the stabbing of a defenceless person, he said.

In a letter written by Ram to Ms Wati's family apologising for his crime he still attempted to minimise his culpability, the judge said.