A man accused of killing his former partner and her daughter attacked the victim's ex-husband with a machete in a drunken rage, a court has heard.
The victim told her ex-husband she was scared for her life and asked him to come over before the assault occurred.
Kamal Gyanendra Reddy, 42, is on trial before the High Court at Auckland charged with the murder of Pakeeza Yusuf and her three-year-old daughter Juwairiyah "Jojo" Kalim.
It's alleged he killed them in late 2006 or early 2007 - their remains were found buried under the Takapuna overbridge in October 2014.
Before Ms Yusuf met the defendant she had been in an arranged marriage with Mohammed Faizal, who gave evidence this afternoon.
On November 11, 2006, the victim phoned her ex-husband.
"She said: 'he's been threatening and I'm scared for my life'," Mr Faizal said.
Ms Yusuf texted him the Otara address where she and her daughter were staying with Reddy and the 39-year-old headed over.
"When I got there he was drunk and had a machete - it was quite long - and swung at me but he missed," Mr Faizal said.
"He missed me by about an inch. If I wasn't fast enough he would've taken my head off."
Defence lawyer Jonathan Krebs suggested the witness was "considerably exaggerating" the severity of the incident but he denied doing so.
On January 22, 2007, Reddy was sentenced before Manukau District Court for assault with a weapon.
Mr Faizal said he attended the hearing and expected to see his ex-partner there. According to the Crown's charges, Ms Yusuf and Jojo were killed and buried by Reddy at least two weeks earlier.
Mr Faizal had married the victim in 2000, they had a daughter together in 2003, but by 2006 the pair split.
She formed a relationship with Reddy but within a year he allegedly murdered both her and Jojo.
Ms Yusuf's mother Mubarak Rojina Banu broke down in court today when shown a photo of her daughter.
She told the court the last time she had spoken to her daughter, around the end of 2006, she was clearly unhappy.
"She was always ringing me up," she said. "Whenever she used to phone, she seemed upset."
Ms Yusuf allegedly complained about Reddy's excessive alcohol consumption.
After trying to get in touch with her daughter throughout 2007, the concerned mother moved from Fiji to New Zealand to try and track her down.
She eventually contacted police about Ms Yusuf's disappearance in 2013 and police later launched an undercover operation targeting Reddy that last six months.
He eventually made admissions about killing the pair and burying their bodies but Mr Krebs said it was a false confession made while his client was "immense pressure".
Earlier, the court heard how the mother and grandmother of the two alleged murder victims cooked meals for Reddy.
Ms Banu bumped into Reddy in a vegetable shop, possibly in 2010, she said.
"First of all I didn't recognise him so when I did, the very first thing I asked was about my daughter. He told me: 'she's no longer with me, she got married to someone and left'.
When I heard what he said I felt it can't really be true, that my daughter could've married somebody and taken off," Ms Banu said.
She told the court the alleged killer then asked her to make food for him and his son, which she agreed to.
When Reddy would come round to pick up meals, Ms Banu said, he would be the one who raised the subject of her daughter and granddaughter.
Sometimes he said they had moved to Niue, other times that Ms Yusuf had married a European man and relocated to Australia, she said.
"He was saying all these things but I never questioned him," she said.
Reddy was only arrested after a six-month police undercover operation, which the Crown said resulted in him giving a full confession before leading an officer to the burial site in October 2014.
But this morning defence counsel Jonathan Krebs said the admissions made by his client were false.
"The issue in this case, one of the things that will be front and centre, is the confessional material . . . the issue will be whether you find that reliable," Mr Krebs said.
"I say to you from the outset: it's false, it's a cobbled-together story."
He said his client had effectively been "groomed" by undercover police.
"What if a person didn't commit the crime but knew enough about the crime to give a plausible narrative?" he said.
"What if immense pressure was put on them to confess in circumstances that led them to believe there would be no consequences?"
The trial continues.