Man pleads guilty to woman's murder

Last updated 15:43 17/12/2013
Mary Donnelly
Mary Donelly.

Relevant offers

Hutt Valley

New Pomare residents told: 'Welcome to the hood ... get involved and meet people' Wolfgang goes undercover for German cheese sausage recipe Trevor Mallard beats Chris Bishop on National Go By Bike Day race Nude man in van sparks 'stranger danger' warning at Tawa school Roy Mataki claims self defence when siblings knifed, one dead, in Upper Hutt Balloons fly as Wainuiomata toddler Ataahua Journey Harris-Timoti gets final send-off Pomare sub-division not the dream that residents hoped for Kat the Upper Hutt dog walker who loves her job Hutt South MP Trevor Mallard supports boy racer caught clocking up 210kmh in highway race Police hunt for armed Featherston man Califf Anthony Dickson in Wellington region

A former neighbour of Upper Hutt woman Mary Donnelly, found dead in her flat in August last year, has pleaded guilty of murdering her.

Kharn Tamaka, 29, unemployed, entered his plea in the High Court at Wellington this afternoon. 

He is in custody pending sentencing in February.

Justice Ron Young has asked for a report about Tamaka's mental and intellectual state. 

Ms Donnelly was strangled and her sister and a concerned associate found her semi-naked body in her flat after she failed to keep an appointment on August 30, 2012.

Tamaka and Ms Donnelly, 38, had been neighbours at flats in Ebdentown St, Upper Hutt, in 2011, according to a summary of the evidence against Tamaka.

Ms Donnelly had an intellectual disability but lived independently with help from a support worker who took her shopping and checked on her welfare each week.

On August 29, 2012, CCTV footage showed her walking to the train station with Tamaka following her a short distance.

Ms Donnelly took a cooking class at the Hutt Valley Disabled Resource Centre that ended in the early afternoon.

A person doing maintenance at the flats saw Ms Donnelly alive at about 5.30pm with Tamaka, and heard Tamaka say words to the effect that he would return.

At about 11pm Ms Donnelly's neighbour heard a knock at the door and recognised Tamaka's voice.

Ms Donnelly missed an appointment the following day. An associate contacted her sister and they found her dead in her bed.

She was found to have injuries to her neck consistent with someone plutting their hands or forearm across her throat and applying pressure. One of her fingernails had been bent right back and broken.

Tamaka's DNA was found under her fingernails.

However he told police that he had not been at Ebdentown St for about a year and did not know who Mary Donnelly was.

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post

Special offers
Opinion poll

How many coffees do you have a day?

5 or even more

3-4

2

1

Anything from 1-5.

Don't touch the stuff.

Vote Result

Related story: Coffee as we know it at risk of dying

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content