Rob Kidd is a NZME. News Service court reporter based in Auckland.

Man accused of killing Te Atatu woman Cun Xiu Tian can now be named

The 19-year-old man accused of murdering and sexually violating a woman at her home in west Auckland can now be named.

Jaden Lee Stroobant appeared in the High Court at Auckland this morning where his name suppression lapsed.

Justice Graham Lang declined applications to photograph the defendant but said that position would be reviewed at his next appearance.

Stroobant did not enter a plea today but will be obliged to do so at his next appearance in April.

The youth was arrested nearly a week after allegedly murdering Cun Xiu Tian, 69, who was found dead in her home in Te Atatu on January 15.

He also faces two charges of sexually violating the mother and grandmother but details of those allegations were suppressed by Justice Lang.

Ms Tian was found in her Glenvil Lane home on Friday by her daughter and son-in-law when they arrived back from work shortly after 5pm.

Police said the attack - which was not heard by any neighbours - was violent and prolonged, and Ms Tian was struck multiple times around her head and face.

The investigation team brought in criminal profilers as they tried to find who was responsible for Ms Tian's death.

The investigation, dubbed Operation Nepal, was manned by 25 investigators and additional staff.

Several members of the Chinese community gathered outside the High Court this morning and spokeswoman Cindy Zhang hoped the court would take a hard-line approach.

"It's made a really big impact, not just on the Chinese community but the whole local society," she said.

"In such a beautiful country, we hope there is zero tolerance for this."

She said the identity of the defendant and any suppression around the case was not of concern to the group.

"We don't really care who it is but in the future we hope it's not going to happen anymore," Ms Zhang said.

Ms Tian's family were struggling to come to terms with their loss, she said.

"They're Christians and want to keep a very low profile . . . they're very gentle nice people."

Another woman outside court, Mei Zhou, said she came to New Zealand 22 years ago and no longer felt safe in her own community.

She owns a chicken shop in Glen Innes and said it had been hit by multiple robberies.
Now when friends came to visit New Zealand, she said, they had many questions about whether they would be safe.

Stroobant's trial was set down for November.

- NZ Herald

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