8 Nov 2018

Parents' tearful testimony of finding daughter in pool of blood

8:04 pm on 8 November 2018

The parents of an Auckland woman killed in their family home last year has told a jury about finding their daughter in a pool of blood.

Arishma Chand

Arishma Chand Photo: Supplied

Arishma Chand was found stabbed to death in her Manurewa home on 12 November last year.

Rohit Deepak Singh, 42, was charged with murder three days later and is on trial in the High Court at Auckland after pleading not guilty.

Today Ms Chand's parents, Rakeshwar Singh and Aradhana Devi, took the stand to give evidence in the trial's second week.

Mr Singh told the jury the day his 24-year-old daughter was killed, the family had breakfast together before going to a car dealership to find Ms Chand a new vehicle.

Ms Chand's mother said her daughter's mood that day was "very happy" and she later went out to get her hair done for a night out with her boyfriend.

Ms Chand, who had a three-year-old daughter from a previous marriage, had earlier dropped her daughter off to the girl's father.

The family had dinner together before they went their separate ways; Ms Chand and her boyfriend to SkyCity and her parents to the supermarket and then a friend's house in Mangere.

Her father said he was still in Mangere when he got a call from his daughter around 12:50am.

"Arishma called me and told me that she was already home and that she'd found a stone on the deck. I told Arishma not to get worried... I'll be home in 15 minutes."

Ms Chand's mother told the jury they pulled up the driveway and she got out the car before tapping on the side of the house that was Ms Chand's bedroom.

She said she called out to her daughter to help them with the groceries but didn't hear a reply and went to the front door to find it unlocked.

Mr Singh said his wife called out to him, alarmed their daughter hadn't come out of the house to greet them.

"I ran towards the door, through the house to Arishma's room and I saw Arishma lying on the floor in a pool of blood," he said.

Tears rolled down his cheeks and he told the jury about his frantic attempts to see if she was still alive.

"I just called her and shook her... then I started calling the police and I told my wife not to touch Arishma."

Ms Devi held her face in a hankerchief as she wept during questioning.

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Photo: RNZ / Anneke Smith

When she had finished giving evidence Justice Powell thanked her and aknowledged her "tragic loss".

Ms Chand met the accused through her father, who had worked with him for more than 10 years in a furniture shop in Fiji.

Mr Singh told the jury they had been good friends and he thought of him as a brother, but things changed when it was revealed he intended to marry his daughter.

"I said no because Rohit was like 43 years old and I respect him as my younger brother, I always treated him like that, but no [I couldn't approve the marriage]."

He said his daughter was present when the accused and his family proposed the marriage to him, and that she expressed that she didn't want to marry him either.

The Crown has alleged Rohit Singh was an obsessed ex-boyfriend who stalked Ms Chand in the months leading up to her death.

The pair had been in a sexual relationship in 2016 and Ms Chand fell pregnant but she got an abortion and broke up with him.

Last week, the jury heard he was heartbroken and tried to get back with Ms Chand; messaging her almost-daily, leaving flowers at her home and even getting a tattooed picture of her on his chest.