A young mother was stabbed to death by her ex-partner who had
been released on bail - despite police opposition - after an
earlier incident in which he threatened to kill her.
New Zealand Herald inquiries revealed Inayat Kawthar, 24, was
killed 10 days after a community magistrate bailed
27-year-old Ramintesh Avinash with conditions that he was not
allowed to go near her or contact her.
Miss Kawthar's death in Auckland last Friday comes amid a
campaign to strengthen bail laws and follows the death of
Christie Marceau, in similar circumstances, in 2011.
Christie's mother, Tracey Marceau, said last night the family
were "truly devastated" by Miss Kawthar's death, which
occurred on "the very week of Christie's memorial".
Last night, a spokeswoman for the district court said an
investigation into the community magistrate's decision to
release Avinash on October 30 was under way.
"It is a tragedy whenever a person dies in circumstances
where the matter is before the courts. In these cases all
aspects are reviewed and appropriate action is taken," said
Sonja de Friez, director of Community Engagement District
Police say Avinash went to Miss Kawthar's Great South Rd,
Manurewa flat on Friday and stabbed her repeatedly in the
chest while her 15-month-old child was home. She died in
hospital later that day.
Avinash was found dead under a rail bridge in Manurewa that
afternoon. His death is not suspicious.
The Herald has learned that Avinash was arrested on October
29 after an altercation in Miss Kawthar's home and he
appeared in the Manukau District Court the next day before a
community magistrate on charges of threatening to kill and
assault with a weapon.
During that incident, Avinash harmed himself with a knife and
Miss Kawthar received a small wound to her head.
It is understood the pair had been together only four or five
months when the court ordered them to be apart. Avinash may
have been in New Zealand for only a year.
Police opposed Avinash being freed on bail during the
hearing, but the community magistrate disagreed and he was
bailed to live at a Blockhouse Bay address. He was forbidden
from contacting Miss Kawthar.
It is understood police tried to convince Miss Kawthar to
move into a refuge. She told officers she would be all right
and would rely on the support of family. Police who visited
her to carry out welfare checks are understood to be
Detective Inspector Dave Lynch, of Counties Manukau police,
said the two deaths had been referred to the Coroner.
"The Chief Coroner has authorised police to confirm that the
matter is being dealt with as a murder-suicide, Young mother
killed by ex-partner given bail however police will not make
any further comment on circumstances leading up to the deaths
as they will be subject to inquest findings," Mr Lynch said.
When police arrived at Miss Kawthar's flat on Friday morning
they found her critically injured with multiple stab wounds.
Miss Kawthar's child, from her previous relationship, was
taken into Child Youth and Family custody.
Her family have asked for privacy. "This is a difficult time
for us and we are going through a private and holy grieving
process. We are asking that the media respect this process
and our privacy at this difficult time," the family said in a
They would speak about what happened, but not immediately.
"We will appoint a family spokesperson and when the time is
right and the family is comfortable we will make an
Possible changes to bail laws being considered by Parliament
include making a person on a murder charge or repeat
violence, drugs or sex charges convince a judge the community
would be safe if they were released, as opposed to current
law where the Crown must show why defendants should be locked
The campaigners behind Christie's Law - set up in memory of
Aucklander Christie Marceau, who was killed by Akshay Chand
while he was on bail for assaulting and kidnapping her - want
bail laws strengthened further.
Christie's Law chairman Ruth Money said: "Sadly, this is yet
another example of why the select committee's weak
recommendations do not go far enough. As in many cases
including this and Christie's, someone has threatened a
member of the community and [a court] has ignored that
person's threat and the police's opposition to bail. How many
lives need to be lost before common sense is applied and bail
for these offenders is denied?"