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AFi­jian liv­ing in Auck­land who killed his ex-part­ner and her three-year-old daugh­ter and buried their bod­ies un­der a bridge has been found guilty of their mur­ders.

Af­ter four-and-a-half hours of de­lib­er­a­tion, a jury at Auck­land High Court found Ka­mal Reddy guilty of mur­der­ing Pa­keeza Yusuf and her daugh­ter, Juwairiyah “Jojo” Kalim.

Reddy, 43, was un­flinch­ing as the ver­dicts were read out. He will be sen­tenced next month. Yusuf was also from Fiji. Juwairiyah’s fa­ther, Mo­hammed Faizal, said he had been “wait­ing for this day for a long time. “I am glad they found him guilty, he should be put away for a long time.”

It had been a long and stress­ful wait to find out how and why his daugh­ter was killed, he said.

“I can put this be­hind me finally, now I know what hap­pened. A long time I have been wait­ing for this day. What comes next I don’t know, I’ll just have to wait and see - it’s pretty daunt­ing.”

Jus­tice Raynor Asher told the ju­rors: “This has been an or­deal for you. Bear that in mind and look af­ter yourselves over the next few days.” Juwairiyah and her mother were found buried un­der the Taka­puna over­bridge in Auck­land’s North Shore in Oc­to­ber 2014 but the Crown said they were killed at the end of 2006 or early 2007. Reddy claimed the con­fes­sion was a sham and it was only made un­der in­tense pres­sure from Po­lice who tar­geted him in an ex­ten­sive in­ves­ti­ga­tion. He told the court the real killer was a part-In­dian man called James, who was in a re­la­tion­ship with Ms Yusuf at the time.

The jury re­jected that ex­pla­na­tion, pre­fer­ring the one Reddy him­self un­wit­tingly made to un­der­cover Po­lice dur­ing a se­cretly-recorded in­ter­view in a Welling­ton apart­ment. He said he had stran­gled Ms Yusuf with the cord of an elec­tri­cal iron, be­fore smoth­er­ing Jojo with a pil­low. “He wrapped [the cord] around her neck once and tight­ened it un­til she stopped breath­ing,” Crown pros­e­cu­tor Natalie Walker said. “There was likely to be min­i­mal strug­gle, no noise and no blood.” The Crown said Reddy killed the woman out of anger that she had made a scene in front of his fam­ily, jeal­ousy that she may have been see­ing some­one else and re­sent­ment that he had paid a de­posit for the How­ick flat and was be­ing shunned by Ms Yusuf. He killed Jojo be­cause she would have in­evitably outed him as the killer, Ms Walker said.

Af­ter the mur­ders, Reddy fran­ti­cally drove around Bom­bay Hills south of Auck­land, look­ing for a suit­able area to dis­pose of them. When the search proved fruit­less, he called his un­cle Bal Naidu in the early hours of the morn­ing and drove to his Pa­p­a­toe­toe ad­dress. Mr Naidu told the court that Reddy ad­mit­ted killing his girl­friend and her daugh­ter and said they were un­der a blan­ket in the boot of his Subaru. The pair drove to the North Shore spot where the bod­ies were found and Mr Naidu pointed out a cou­ple of lo­ca­tions by the bridge that would be suit­able. Twenty four hours later Reddy went back and dug for hours be­fore dump­ing the vic­tims side by side. For more than seven years, the mother and daugh­ter lay cov­ered in stone and mud. Their dis­ap­pear­ance was only noted by Po­lice when Ms Yusuf’s mother made a miss­ing per­son’s re­port in 2013. Reddy came un­der the mi­cro­scope af­ter they dis­cov­ered he had ap­peared in Manukau District Court in 2007 charged with threat­en­ing to kill Ms Yusuf and as­sault­ing her ex-hus­band with a ma­chete. Bank data showed some­one had been tak­ing large cash sums from the vic­tim’s ac­count since her dis­ap­pear­ance too but noth­ing con­clu­sively pointed to the de­fen­dant.

It was only af­ter un­der­cover Po­lice of­fi­cers gained Reddy’s trust over the course of a six-month op­er­a­tion that they got the ev­i­dence they needed. Out­side court De­tec­tive Sergeant Stephen Nightin­gale made spe­cial men­tion of the work done by Crown pros­e­cu­tors Natalie Walker and Luke Clancy.

He also praised the in­ves­ti­ga­tion team, sev­eral of whom were in court for the ver­dicts.

“It’s been a long road and I’m re­ally proud of them,” he said. Mr Nightin­gale also spoke on be­half of the vic­tims’ fam­ily. “Pa­keeza was the el­dest daugh­ter in a fam­ily of five chil­dren. She was beau­ti­ful, car­ing and a won­der­ful mother to Juwairiyah,” he said.

“We’re ex­tremely pleased this of­fender will now be held ac­count­able for his ter­ri­ble ac­tions. We would never wish for any­one to go through what we have and are thank­ful our ques­tions have finally been an­swered and can now be­gin to move for­ward with our lives.” Ms Yusuf ’s un­cle Firoz Mo­hammed told the Her­ald: “Ev­ery day we have sat here for the three week trial and lis­tened to ev­ery­thing they have said and to­day when they an­nounced the ver­dict, I cried. “The man who has done this is guilty and it gives us clo­sure.” He said Ms Yusuf ’s mother and fa­ther had been in the court to hear the ver­dicts.

“We all just don’t re­ally know what to say. This af­ter­noon we will all get to­gether and do a prayer for Pa­keeza and Jojo to rest in peace be­cause we know that jus­tice has been done.”

Photo: NZ Po­lice

Juwairiyah Kalim - known as Jojo (left) - and a photo of her and her mother Pa­keeza Faizal, also known as Mubarak Yusuf.

Photo: TVNZ

Ka­mal Reddy at the High Court in Auck­land.

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