By Jono Hutchison
The widow of South Auckland liquor store owner Navtej Singh says she is considering whether to appeal the verdicts of several men found not guilty of her husband’s murder.
Six men were charged with killing Mr Singh – but only the man who pulled the trigger was found guilty of murder. The five others were found guilty of aggravated robbery.
Harjinder Kaur talked to 3 News through an interpreter and said two years after Mr Singh’s death, her children still ask about their father.
“The second child, she still remembers. Whenever she goes to the photos – Navtej’s photo – she’s asking me the same questions, ‘why did they kill our dad?’”
Yesterday 22-year-old Anitilea Chan-Kee was found guilty of Mr Singh’s murder.
But Harjinder Kaur says she believes some of them were culpable.
“She’s not quite happy that they are only doing [time for] the robbery,” her interpreter said.
“Instead she’s feeling that they are involved in the murder of Mr Singh.”
While Harjinder Kaur weighs up her options, there have been calls for the store her husband owned to be shut down.
Manurewa residents reported YouTube footage to police which shows youths engaging in alcohol-fuelled brawls – across the road from a playground and down the road from the store Mr Singh owned.
Marshall Maki admits stealing from Mr Singh’s liquor store and says he was even sent to jail for it.
He says the brawls are not uncommon, and wants to see liquor stores in the area closed down.
“Youth drinking is a very big problem – especially in south side,” he says.
“Youth crime is growing rapidly.”
Manukau City Councillor Daniel Newman says the Riverton Liquor Shop is a problem.
“It was something that was never supported by a large number of residents in Randwick Park. They opposed the licence and have always opposed, and resented the operation of, that particular bottle shop,” he says.
But Gurwinder Singh, a co-worker who pleaded with the gunmen not to shoot Mr Singh, says the comments are hurtful so soon after the court process.
The family spokesperson says closing the store is not the answer, that the store is the only thing they have to keep them going in New Zealand.
The focus for Harjinder Kaur now is discussing with family whether to appeal the verdicts.