26 Nov 2018

Rohit Singh trial: 'One aim only and that was to kill'

7:41 pm on 26 November 2018

A Crown prosecutor in the trial of the man accused of murdering South Auckland mother Arishma Chand has told the jury the right man is in the dock.

Rohit Deepak Singh standing alongside an interpreter at the High Court in Auckland.

Rohit Deepak Singh standing alongside an interpreter at the High Court in Auckland. Photo: RNZ / Anneke Smith

Rohit Deepak Singh is on trial in High Court in Auckland after pleading not guilty to killing Ms Chand, who was found stabbed to death in her Manurewa home in November last year.

Crown prosecutor Yelena Yelavich began closing the Crown's case this morning by taking the jury to the scene of the crime.

"In the early hours of Sunday the 12th of November last year, Rakeshwar Singh and his wife Aradhana Devi arrived home to find their much-loved daughter lying dead in a pool of blood on the bedroom floor."

Ms Yelavich said Ms Chand had been violently killed in a matter of minutes, stabbed on her back, hands and groin before being repeatedly struck on the back of her head with a second weapon.

The Crown has told the jury Mr Singh was responsible for the killing and painted him as a controlling ex-boyfriend whose obsession with her after a brief relationship in 2016 drove him to kill the 24-year-old.

Ms Yelavich said the 42-year-old had watched, messaged, talked about and obsessed in the 15 months between their break up and Ms Chand's death.

"By November 2017 the defendant had finally given up on the idea that Ms Chand would ever return to him.

"He entered Ms Chand's home on the morning of the 12th of November with one aim only and that was to kill. That is what he set out to do and that is what he achieved that morning."

Ms Yelavich said Mr Singh's controlling behaviour could be traced back to the start of their relationship, when he tried to sabotage her friendship with another male.

She said Mr Singh did not realise she would break things off him instead.

"The defendant continued to message Ms Chand. He initially sent her messages telling her that he was missing her, that he wanted to talk to her, that he was sorry and that he wasn't eating.

"Although these messages went unanswered the defendant did not give up. He persisted because he was obsessed and infatuated with her."

Mr Singh took the stand last week and told the jury he had secretly resumed a relationship with Arishma.

He wept as he said they planned to spend the night she died together when he found her stabbed and semi-conscious before leaving the house on her request.

Ms Yelavich said his account that he left a woman who had been so violently attacked was unthinkable.

"To suggest that she came to and had a conversation with the defendant in these circumstances before then rejecting any assistance because she was worried about her parents is beyond belief."

Mr Singh had told the jury he went home to shower before throwing his clothes in hot mix asphalt.

He then drove to the North Shore to see his relatives, where he called 111 to report being burgled by a group of women.

Ms Yelavich said this was an elaborate scheme to cover his tracks.

"The Crown says that the defendant lied constantly in his evidence and he did this to try and cover up what he had really done to Ms Chand. His story developed in different ways during the course of his evidence as he had difficulty keeping his story straight."

She said his DNA was found on Ms Chand's fingernails, and her blood in the footwell of his car, not because he had stumbled on the scene but because he was responsible for murdering her.

Mr Singh's defence lawyer Belinda Sellars has told the jury her client was an easy target for the police and asked them to keep an open mind throughout the trial.

She will close the defence's case tomorrow.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs