Auckland man jailed for Valentine's Day stabbing

An Auckland man who stabbed his wife with a 30cm chef's knife when she refused sex on Valentine's Day has been sentenced to six years and nine months in prison.

Kumar Anal Kamal, 44 and from Fiji, appeared in Auckland High Court this morning after earlier pleading guilty to one charge of attempted murder.

He was arrested in February last year shortly after stabbing his wife four times in the arm, head, abdomen and chest, two days after Valentine's Day.

He became suspicious she was seeing someone else when she turned down sex on Valentine's Day.

Kamal spent two days thinking of ways to kill his wife, including strangulation and chopping into her neck, Justice Murray Gilbert said.

When she returned home from work with her 20-year-old daughter on February 16, 2013, he was waiting for her.

He confronted her about his suspicions that she was having an affair, provoking an argument in which he threatened to kill her.

He then picked up a 30cm chef's knife from the kitchen, grabbed her by the hair and dragged her into the bedroom, where he made her sit on the bed. When she swore at him, he "became even more aggravated", and stabbed her four times, injuring her arm, abdomen, chest and head.

"You only stopped when you thought that she would die," Justice Gilbert said.

"You explained to police that the reason for stabbing the victim was to kill her, as simple as that."

Mrs Kamal managed to run out of the house to the driveway, where a neighbour helped her.

Her husband then set the knife down and waited for police to arrive.

The attack was carried out on a "defenceless and vulnerable"woman, who knew "how violent you can be", Justice Gilbert said.

"You were considerably bigger and stronger than your victim, and have martial arts training. You were also armed with a knife."

Kamal, who listened intently in the dock through a Hindi interpreter, had become angry that his wife would not adopt a more traditional role in their home, the court heard.

He was "significantly stressed"in the months leading up to the attack, following the couple's move to New Zealand from Fiji, where he struggled in an "alien culture", his defence barrister Jo Wickliffe said.

When Kamal, described as relatively uneducated and unsophisticated, failed to find work because of health problems, he "was not equipped to cope with the subsequent financial and emotional reliance on his new wife", Ms Wickliffe said.

His religious upbringing clashed with that of his wife. After he found work, taking on two jobs, he expected her to take a traditional role, but she would not.

"The relationship deteriorated and Mrs Kamal withdrew from the relationship," Ms Wickliffe said.

However, Crown prosecutor Bruce Northwood said the reasons for the attack "were arrogance in the extreme, and these days it's astounding somebody would try to kill his partner for the reasons stated".

Justice Gilbert accepted Kamal was stressed from the culture shock which came with the move, but said it "cannot in any way excuse what you did".

He also noted his probation officer's evaluation that the attack was an isolated incident, and Kamal had not shown a propensity for violence. He also had no previous criminal record.

Kamal received a 25 per cent reduction on the minimum penalty of nine years in prison for an attempted murder charge, because of his guilty plea.

Dressed in a white polo shirt, he stood in the dock, and spoke only at the beginning of his sentencing, saying he wanted to "thank the Lord Jesus Christ", and bless everyone in the courtroom.


- By Patrice Dougan of APNZ

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