Farzana Yaqubi: Kanwarparl Singh jailed for 17 years for fatally stabbing AUT student in Auckland alleyway

Warning this story contains details that may disturb some people. 

The man who fatally stabbed 21-year-old Farzana Yaqubi in a west Auckland alleyway will spend at least 17 years behind bars in prison.  

Kanwarparl Singh, 30, pleaded guilty to murdering the AUT law student in broad daylight as she was making her way home from work on December 19 last year.  

In the High Court in Auckland on Wednesday morning, Justice David Johnstone sentenced him to life in prison with a minimum non-parole period of 17 years.  

Farzana's family and friends sat sobbing in the public gallery as victim impact statements were read to the court.  

Through tears, one of her sisters said Farzana's death has "changed our whole lives forever".  

"Farzana had a promising future ahead of her," she said.  

"He not only took Farzana but he took a daughter, sister, aunty and friend." 

"This animal robbed our entire family in broad daylight," she said, telling the court that Singh robbed Farzana of her dreams and goals while depriving their family of the joy of seeing her graduate and get married.  

Farzana Yaqubi.
Farzana Yaqubi. Photo credit: Facebook

Farzana moved to New Zealand, aged two, with her mother and siblings from war-torn Afghanistan to join her father who sought refuge here.   

Farzana's father's victim impact statement was read out by her brother.  

He wrote, "My difficult childhood, war, leaving a worn torn country didn't affect me but this incident destroyed me." 

Farzana's father wrote on the day his daughter was taken from him, he was waiting at home for her as she made her way home from work. His wife was beginning to prepare dinner when he said "it all changed" as police started running around their house and broke the news to his daughter about Farzana's death.  

He said following her death, he's had sleepless nights, waking every few hours, thinking about his daughter. He can see the location of where his daughter was taken from him from the window of his house.  

Farzana's youngest brother told the court her death feels like "a wound that refuses to heal, a void that can't be filled". 

"Farzana was a radiant presence in our lives who always put others before herself." 

"No sentence can bring her back." 

The summary of facts on the case, obtained by Newshub, states Singh and Farzana were known to each other.  

In September 2020, Singh was working as a security guard on Queen St and struck up a conservation with her when she passed his workplace, inviting her to get a coffee. 

Following their date, he began to continuously message her on Instagram and she blocked Singh on her social media accounts.  

In 2021 and 2022, Singh created multiple new social media accounts and contacted her on these.  

Singh began threatening Farzana via these accounts. 

In one message, he threatened to kidnap her, saying "if u don't wanna say anything I will kidnap u n give u 365 days to fall in love with me". In another message, he threatened to throw acid on her face. Singh also added the 21-year-old's family and friends on social media in an attempt to contact her.  

On October 25 2022, she made an 'Online Report' to police, complaining about Singh's "harassing" behaviour.  

On December 5 2022, Farzana noticed Singh following her at Westgate shopping mall. She approached a security officer for assistance.  

On December 6 2022, he used a social media account to send her a video taken outside of her home address.  

Fearing for her safety, she went to the Henderson Police Station and made a statement about Singh's "stalking" behaviour. She also provided police with screenshots of his messages.  

On December 7 2022, he arranged for a pizza to be delivered to her home address. 

Just over two weeks later... as Farzana was making her way home from work at Westgate, Singh was waiting for her.  

When Signh saw her walking in an alleyway near the Waitakere Badminton Centre, he got out of his car and approached her with a large knife.  

When Farzana saw him, she attempted to call police, but he stabbed her multiple times.  

When members of the public ran to help her, Singh retreated down the alleyway and fled in his car. 

He was later arrested by Police the following day at his home address.

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