Man who stabbed ex-wife in broad daylight at west Auckland bus stop was 'obsessed' with revenge, court hears

Warning: This article contains details some readers may find distressing 


Construction workers heard a woman screaming for help and for her killer to "stop"  as she was stabbed to death by her ex-husband at a west Auckland bus stop.

The morning of July 29 2019  Zhimin Yang was waiting to catch her bus to work on Massey's Westgate Drive. As she waited, a construction worker watched in horror as the 56-year-old was tackled from behind, punched and then stabbed repeatedly in broad daylight. Members of the public rushed to try and save her life, but it was too late.

The man accused of her murder is her ex-husband Manchao Li - on Friday the court heard he stabbed his ex-wife 12 times with a hunting knife as he was angry and obsessed with exacting revenge on her.  

While summing up the case Crown Prosecutor Nick Webby told the jury 65-year-old Li had murderous intent during the lethal attack. 

The jury were told Li was furious at the result of a 10 year legal battle over the pair's ownership of a Christchurch property. 

The couple divorced in 2009, and Li talked of killing Yang in the years and months leading up to her death. 

He told social workers he wanted to chop off her arms and legs off with a cleaver and told his flatmates he wanted to get even with her. 

Li's ex-wife had protection orders against him, and told people she feared for her life. 

"This man knows where I live, he will kill me," Yang told police when she sought the order. 

Stuff reports in the months before she died tenants at her son's house had their car tyres slashed, their car tagged , and dead animals were found in the letterbox.

Li admitted he was responsible for these threatening actions. 

In summing up the case for the defence, lawyer Ron Mansfield didn't dispute Li stabbed his ex-wife, but says there was no murderous intent, rather that it was a reckless killing from a man "plagued by mental health". 

"It's best explained not by a cold-blooded killing, but a killing by someone with an acute and fragile mental health status who is fixated on Ms Li, and their dispute, and unable to think of the consequences of what he does," Mansfield said. 

Throughout the trial the High Court in Auckland the jury heard from 47 experts and witnesses. 

The judge has begun summing up the murder trial on Friday then the jury will retire for deliberations.