Double murder accused appears in court

By Vaimoana Tapaleao, Morgan Tait, Patrice Dougan

Police attend to the scene at a house in Pooks Rd Ranui where the bodies of two deceased women were found. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Police attend to the scene at a house in Pooks Rd Ranui where the bodies of two deceased women were found. Photo / Brett Phibbs

A 55-year-old man has appeared in court charged over the deaths of two women in West Auckland yesterday.

Ishrat Malik, a taxi driver, stood before Waitakere District Court today, clutching his head and supported by two police officers.

He was charged with the murder of two women, a mother and daughter who were found in their Ranui home yesterday morning.

Police have not revealed their identities, but APNZ can confirm Farhat Rana Malik, aged in her 50s and known as Rana, and her daughter Sidra Noor Malik, believed to be in her teens, were found dead by police at the Pooks Rd property, about 10am yesterday.

Mr Malik was remanded in custody until next month.

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Police say they will release the names of the dead women once formal identification has been completed.

A neighbour who did not want to be named said he saw a man being taken away by police.

"I came downstairs and there were police all over the road and about three ambulance staff.

"The guy was in the back of the car wearing handcuffs and speaking to the police and ambulance staff who were maybe treating him, too."

Ms Malik was described as "completely selfless" because of her dedicated work in the local community.

Former president of the Waitakere Ethnic Board and friend Ann Degia-Pala said news of the deaths had come as a huge shock.

"It's a difficult time for many friends. [Rana] was known to many people in the community."

Mrs Degia-Pala cried as she spoke about a woman who she described as being "completely selfless".

Ms Malik, of Pakistani descent, was connected to the Ranui Action Project - which organises community events - and was also a member of the Waitakere Ethnic Board and the Pakistan Association of NZ.

Another family friend, the Rev Amail Habib, said he and his wife had met Ms Malik for lunch last week.

"She was a very good friend of ours. She was a wonderful person.

"She loved her family and we were very happy to meet her and spend time with her."

Detective Inspector Greg Cramer said a 55-year-old man, who was known to the victims, made a 111 call to police shortly after 10am, and was at the scene when police arrived.

The bodies remained inside the house yesterday afternoon and police had erected a large blue and white tent in an adjacent yard and removed a section of fence.

- NZ Herald

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