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Cold case killer brought to justice

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 13/05/2016 By Lydia Anderson

"We would never wish for anyone to go through what we have", says the family of a brutally murdered young mother and child.

For almost eight years the murdered bodies of Mubarak Yusuf, 24, and her three-year-old child, Juwairiyah "Jojo" Kalim lay undiscovered in a deep grave while cars raced over a bridge above, until their killer was undone by his own words.

After more than four hours of deliberating, an Auckland jury has returned a guilty verdict on Friday for Kamal Reddy, 43, charged with murdering the two victims in late 2006.

Outside court, Detective Sergeant Stephen Nightingale read a statement on behalf of Ms Yusuf's family.

"She was beautiful, caring, a wonderful mother to Juwairiyah," the statement read.

"We're extremely pleased that this offender will now be held accountable for his terrible actions."

The statement went on to say the family were glad their questions had been answered and they could move on with their lives.

Reddy unwittingly confessed to undercover officers in October 2014 he had strangled Ms Yusuf - also known as Pakeeza Faizal - and smothered Jojo.

Thinking he was talking to trusted acquaintances, Reddy took the officers to the victims' bodies under the Takapuna Landing Bridge.

He told them he "just got rid of her".

Desperate to shift the blame at trial, Reddy said his confession was made-up to protect the real killer who had threatened him if he turned him in.

However the jury did not believe his account about a man he knew only as James who he claimed Ms Yusuf was dating at the time of her death.

Warning signs of Reddy's murderous rage emerged during his one-year relationship with Ms Yusuf, who made tearful calls to her mother in Fiji, saying he was drinking heavily and beating her.

In late 2006, Ms Yusuf called her ex-husband for help saying she feared for her life, and when he arrived at her house Reddy swung a machete at him.

Reddy faced charges over the incident, including threatening to kill Ms Yusuf - which was withdrawn in 2007 because unbeknownst to the court Ms Yusuf was already dead and therefore did not appear to give evidence.

The Crown argued that on December 27, 2006, Reddy violated a non-association order, snuck into Ms Yusuf's house at night and killed her and her daughter.

He was driven by resentment, anger and jealously at the thought she could be seeing other men after he had helped her financially, the Crown said.

After burying the bodies, Reddy went about covering his tracks, lying to Ms Yusuf's family that she had run off.

It took until 2013 for Ms Yusuf's suspicious mother to report her missing to police, who opened an investigation.

Unable to secure enough evidence to take Reddy to trial, police initiated an undercover operation in April 2014 that resulted in his confession and accurate description of how the bodies were buried.

Reddy will be sentenced on June 22.

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