30 Sep 2015

'I didn't want him within eyeshot of the knife'

8:07 am on 30 September 2015

An Auckland plasterer praised by a High Court judge for his bravery has described how he grabbed a knife off Mandeep Singh as the killer stood over his wife's body.

Parmita Rani

Parmita Rani Photo: Facebook

In the High Court in Auckland yesterday Singh was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Parmita Rani and the attempted murder of her friend Parminder Singh.

They were all in the crowded lobby of a language school in May when he launched his attack.

Zane Paki, who was due to paint and plaster a storeroom in the building, said that when he realised what was going on, he grabbed the knife from Singh and moved him away from Ms Rani and her injured friend.

"I took him round the corner and sat him on a couch. We were on there for about, say, four minutes, and he's still yelling, and he pulls another knife out, so I had to blimmin' take that one off him, and throw it on the ground and yell out to those other people to come and grab it, because I didn't want him within eyeshot of this other knife."

Mr Paki said he would do it again if he had to.

"Whoever would have been there would have done the same thing, I'd say.

"Being a Kiwi, being a Maori in New Zealand, you can't let people do that, you know - come to your country and start stabbing people. That's just not what we do here."