A man has been found guilty of the murder of a Chinese grandmother who was punched, kicked and stomped on during a robbery of her south Auckland home.
Olinale Ah You, 30, was found guilty of murdering 80 year-old Yan Ping Yang by a jury at the High Court at Auckland after deliberating for two and a quarter hours.
He has been remanded in custody until sentencing on June 4.
The verdict came after the trial was given a rare chance to hear from the victim "beyond the grave".
Prosecutor Kieran Raftery told a High Court at Auckland jury today they'd heard a statement from 80 year-old Yan Ping Yang as she lay critically ill in hospital bed. It told how she was attacked by an intruder in her home, beaten, stomped on and dragged by her hair towards a wardrobe.
Mrs Yang died in Middlemore Hospital on June 14, 2008, three days later.
The Crown alleged Ah You murdered her. He pleaded not guilty to murder, but guilty to manslaughter.
Mr Raftery said it was a rare trial because they'd heard an account from beyond the grave. Mrs Yang's statement told "what happened to her and how she was murdered by this man. Not many murder trials hear from the victim of the murder itself."
What she said was corroborated by evidence given during the trial, either by family members or medical witnesses, he said.
Mrs Yang said she was in the upstairs lounge about to turn the television off when she was grabbed from behind by Ah You. Blood was found in that room, revealing the attack began there, before she was pushed downstairs towards her bedroom.
Pathologists found a fractured bone in her neck that usually resulted from a hanging - or from being strangled.
The court heard how her slippers came off in the struggle. "At that stage I couldn't see him. I tried to call out but I couldn't." She said he could have been wearing gloves, but wasn't sure.
She said Ah You tried to push her into a wardrobe but it was too full. She fell to the ground, her lower half outside the wardrobe, and she kicked the wardrobe doors open.
Mr Raftery said Ah You then stomped on her chest and left his foot on her so she couldn't move. She lost consciousness.
The lawyer said Ah You pleaded guilty to manslaughter but not murder at the start of the trial. "He accepts he is the intruder, he did cause the injuries and that he came to steal."
But the Crown's case was that by attacking an 80 year-old woman so viciously he intended to cause her serious injury.
"He probably encountered more resistance than intended...And used greater force but he didn't shy away from it, inflicting one injury after the other. Whether he was angered by her resistance we'll never know."By Andrew Koubaridis @A_Koubaridis Email Andrew