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Murder case told of alleged machete attack

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 27/04/2016
Mubarak Yusef and her three-year-old daughter Juwairiyah Kalim were murdered. © NZ Police Mubarak Yusef and her three-year-old daughter Juwairiyah Kalim were murdered.

The ex-husband of a woman found buried with her toddler under an Auckland bridge has told a court she contacted him fearing for her life - before the man accused of her murder tried to attack him with a machete.

Kamal Reddy, 42, is standing trial accused of the murder of his partner, Mubarak Yusuf, and her toddler, Juwairiyah "Jojo" Kalim, in the High Court at Auckland.

The Crown says Reddy unwittingly told undercover police officers he had strangled 24-year-old Ms Yusuf - also known as Pakeeza Faizal - with an electric cord and smothered the three-year-old before taking police to their bodies under the Takapuna Landing Bridge in October 2014.

Although police believe the pair were killed in their Howick home in late 2006 or early 2007, they were not reported missing until early 2013.

On Wednesday, Ms Yusuf's ex-husband and Jojo's father, Mohammed Faizal - also known as Faizal Kalim - said his ex-wife had in November 2006 texted him panicked and when he went to her home, Reddy took a swing at him with a machete.

"When I got there he was drunk and he had a machete. He swung at me but he missed," he said.

There were other concerning calls, he said.

"She said he's been threatening me and I'm scared for my life," he said, adding he had seen her with a black eye once.

But Reddy's lawyer Jonathan Krebs said Mr Faizal had exaggerated the machete attack and had on an earlier occasion beaten up Reddy.

Earlier, Ms Yusuf's mother, Mubarak Rojina Banu told the court her daughter had on multiple occasions called her crying and complaining of being beaten by a drunk Reddy, including one last time before she vanished in late 2006.

"[She said he was] drinking alcohol, beating me up, swearing at me," she said through a Fiji Hindi interpreter.

She said her daughter stopped answering the phone after that and she flew to New Zealand to find her.

In a series of visits with Reddy over the following months he told her Ms Yusuf had married a European man and run off either to Australia or Niue, but she did not believe him, she said.

Earlier defence lawyer Jonathan Krebs, told the court Reddy's confession didn't mean he was the killer.

"People do make false confessions to crimes, there have been well-publicised miscarriages of justices ... that have occurred due to false confessions," he said.

"Kamal Reddy did not murder the two deceased in this case. Another person did."

Mr Krebs said Reddy had told someone else where they could bury the bodies, and thus knew the location.

He thought there would be no consequences when he gave the information to undercover officers because they had earned his trust over a period of months, Mr Krebs said.

The details of the police sting have been suppressed, but it can be reported the plan involved a "series of simulated criminal scenarios" involving officers and the accused.

The trial continues.

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