A man who killed his ex-partner and her 3-year-old daughter and buried their bodies under an Auckland bridge has lost an appeal against his convictions.
For nearly eight years Pakeeza Yusuf and her daughter, Juwairiyah "Jojo" Kalim, lay covered by stone and mud on Auckland's North Shore after being killed in December 2006.
A decade later in 2016, Kamal Gyanendra Reddy was found guilty of their murder by a jury.
A six-month undercover police operation drew a confession from him on October 14, 2014, where he admitted to strangling his partner Yusuf with the cord of an electric iron, and smothering Jojo.
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More than three years after being sent to prison for life, with a minimum period of imprisonment of 21 years, Reddy took his case to the Court of Appeal last November in a bid to have his convictions quashed.
Reddy's lawyer, Paul Dacre QC, criticised the trial judge's summing up to the jury, saying he didn't emphasise enough that the case was different due to the undercover operation and needed to be handled with more care.
The only solid police evidence, he said, was Reddy showing them the location of the bodies and evidence from someone who spoke about Reddy confessing.
At his trial, Reddy claimed he was innocent and someone else was responsible for the murders. He said he only suggested a location where the bodies could be hidden.
He also raised issues about Reddy's filmed confession and the way his body language was interpreted.
Crown lawyer Mark Lillico, however, said there was other information to corroborate Reddy's confession.
Reddy spoke about being able to lie the bodies flat, he said, which was how both victims were found.
The Court of Appeal judges released their decision yesterday afternoon, dismissing Reddy's appeal.
They said they were satisfied with how trial judge Justice Raynor Asher addressed the jury.
"We note that the specific directions the judge gave concerning the confession were discussed with counsel and approved by them in advance. We are satisfied the directions were adequate and there was no risk of a miscarriage of justice arising from them," the appeal judgment reads.
"The judge told the jury they should approach the question of the truthfulness of the confession with caution, noting there have been cases where false confessions have led to miscarriages of justice.
"The judge explained some of the reasons why people do on occasion make false confessions, including because of confusion, pressure or perceived rewards. The judge instructed the jury that they needed to consider the possibility that Mr Reddy's confession was false."