Man not guilty of strangling lover

Last updated 16:07 20/11/2012
Shanal Sajesh Kumar
JONATHAN CAMERON/Fairfax NZ
NOT GUILTY: Shanal Kumar.

Relevant offers

National News

Elderly women and an injured man left hungry and confused amid travel chaos Investigation continues into fatal West Coast helicopter crash Lego Batman Movie: Where there's a Will Arnett, there's laughter aplenty Indian member of Parliament beat airline employee with his shoe over business-class row Thief made hole in wall and stole $3000 in coins from Taupo's Irish pub EastPack after-tax profit jumps following big season Clouds over Donald Trump's tax plan may curb appetite for US stocks Cambridge courtyard townhouse wows judges to win Home of the Year 2017 Samsung's latest smartphone revealed Girl dies after being overwhelmed by the fumes of her own deodorant

A jury has found murder-accused Shanal Kumar not guilty of strangling his older lover.

The jury in the High Court in New Plymouth returned after just 2 1/4 hours with a not guilty verdict that the 29-year-old murdered Dipti Patel, 42, on April 7 2009 in her garage.

The jury heard more than four weeks' evidence - many of it from expert witnesses brought by the Crown.

After retiring just before midday, the jury returned to court to watch part of  Kumar's first DVD police interview  and returned just after 3pm with their decision.

The Crown case was that Kumar strangled the mother-of-two who had spurned him and he then tried to conceal it as a suicide.

But the jury agreed with the defence that the Crown had not proved their case beyond reasonable doubt.

Defence counsel Peter Winter had argued that his client was not the man seen in the garage where Mrs Patel was found.

Instead he said she either killed herself or her husband could have murdered her when he came home from work or had her killed.

Officer in charge of the case, Sergeant Mike Thorne said outside court police were not looking for anyone else in connection with the case.

Ad Feedback

- Fairfax Media

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content