Car speed broke Māngere Bridge murder victim's body 'head to toe', court hears

Author
Miriam Burrell, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 10 May 2021, 11:45AM
Sagaia Kaisala, 32, died after being hit by a car outside Oji Fibre Solutions in June 2019. Photo / Supplied
Sagaia Kaisala, 32, died after being hit by a car outside Oji Fibre Solutions in June 2019. Photo / Supplied

Car speed broke Māngere Bridge murder victim's body 'head to toe', court hears

Author
Miriam Burrell, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 10 May 2021, 11:45AM

"No relationship break-up justifies what the defendant did," a jury has been told at the trial of a man accused of stabbing his ex-wife and hitting two others with his car, one fatally.

Crown prosecutor Luke Radich has delivered closing arguments in what he described as the "straight forward" trial of Soafa Niumagumagu at the High Court in Auckland.

He is accused of murdering Sagaia Kaisala with his car, attempting to murder his ex-wife Puapuaga Matamua by stabbing her in the neck and head, and assault with a weapon after hitting Abdul Riyaz with his car.

The events took place over a matter of minutes outside the trio's workplace, Oji Fibre Solutions in Māngere Bridge, on June 20, 2019.

Matamua had left her husband and the father of their child for another man days earlier, fuelling Niumagumagu's anger, the Crown alleges.

"We know in the days leading up to the incident the defendant spoke to others about his anger and pain," said Radich.

"His actions and intent could scarcely be clearer."

But feelings of sympathy for Niumagumagu are "legally irrelevant", Radich told the jury.

He stabbed her with a sharpened piece of steel, saying "I'm going to kill you", Radich said, referring to evidence given by Matamua earlier in the trial.

He then deliberately drove his car into Riyaz, and the jury heard this from 10 different witnesses, Radich said.

"I don't expect this to be in dispute and frankly it couldn't be, given the number of witnesses."

Riyaz was among a group who confronted Niumagumagu in his car after the alleged stabbing, some even threw rocks at the car.

Tensions were high and the small group who approached him were undoubtedly angry with him, Radich said.

Witnesses said Riyaz "cart wheeled" over the car, which was travelling fast and did not slow down after hitting Riyaz. He was seen flying up in the air like a rag doll, the jury heard.

"This was no accident, he deliberately ran him down just like he was about to do with Kaisala," said Radich.

Eleven people claimed to have seen Niumagumagu kill Kaisala with his car in the factory carpark.

"No witness described him breaking, no witness described him turning to avoid her, that's the stuff that matters ... that helps to draw conclusions about Niumagumagu's intent," said Radich.

"Whatever the speed, it was virtually enough to break her body from head to toe.

"This wasn't a gentle tap."

The jury has heard from a string of witnesses who claim to have seen the episodes of violence - most of whom also worked at the packaging factory and were finishing their shift for the day.

"At the very least the defendant intended to cause injury. He knew the injuries were intended to cause death and he did it anyway, and that, members of the jury, is murder," said Radich.

"All there is, is a whole lot of evidence and a man who is not taking responsibility for what he did."

No CCTV footage captured the critical moments.

Defence counsel Sharyn Green will deliver closing remarks before Justice Mathew Downs sums up the case and the jury retires.