Massey stabbing: Crown says murder accused was ‘obsessed’ with exacting revenge

The Crown says a man accused of fatally stabbing his ex-wife in a broad daylight attack in West Auckland was “obsessed” with exacting revenge.

Manchao Li, 65, denies murdering Zhimin Yang and breaching a protection order.

His trial started today in the High Court at Auckland before a jury with Justice Jagose presiding.

It is alleged Li repeatedly stabbed Yang – also known as Jennifer – in Massey on July 29 last year.

Crown prosecutor Nick Webby said just after 8am that day Yang had left home to catch a bus.

“She didn’t realise it at the time – at least not until it was too late – that she was being followed that morning by the man that would kill her,” he alleged.

Webby said Li stabbed her 12 times across her head, neck, chest, stomach and arms with a hunting knife.

The blows sliced into a major artery in her neck and a major vein in her body, Webby said.

Several members of the public – including a nearby construction worker – stopped and rushed to help Yang.

Webby said the construction worker had seen Yang tackled from behind and dragged to a grassy area before her assailant pulled her hair back to expose her face to the attack.

Another witness described a man punching a woman on the ground as she screamed hysterically, the prosecutor said.

Efforts were made to try resuscitate Yang.

“Her life was unable to be saved,” Webby said.

“She died not far from where she had been waiting for her bus.”

As members of the public approached, Webby said, Li left in his car, performing a U-turn to get away but was followed by a member of the public who managed to block his escape with his own vehicle.

Police arrived shortly after at 8.35am.

“Mr Li was arrested and taken into custody,” Webby said.

“That arrest, or certainly part of it, was captured by the police Eagle helicopter which was hovering above the scene.”

A bloodstained knife was found in Li’s car, Webby said.

The court heard Yang and Li married in China in 1997, separated in 2005 and divorced in 2009.

“He was a man that, for good reason, she was frightened of,” Webby said.

“She feared he would kill her if he knew where she lived.”

Li had a tendency of breaching the protection orders that were in place, Webby said.

He had become “obsessed” with exacting revenge – or “justice as he viewed it” – after a property dispute in which the court ruled in her favour, he said.

Domestic violence – do you need help?

If you’re in danger now:

• Phone the police on 111 or ask neighbours of friends to ring for you.
• Run outside and head for where there are other people.
• Scream for help so that your neighbours can hear you.
• Take the children with you.
• Don’t stop to get anything else.
• If you are being abused, remember it’s not your fault. Violence is never okay

Where to go for help or more information:

• Shine, free national helpline 9am- 11pm every day – 0508 744 633
• Women’s Refuge: Free national crisis line operates 24/7 – 0800 refuge or 0800 733 843
• Shakti: Providing specialist cultural services for African, Asian and middle eastern women and their children. Crisis line 24/7 0800 742 584
• It’s Not Ok: Information line 0800 456 450

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