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A woman accused of murdering her friend with a butcher's knife at an Auckland pamper party "had a look about her" as she walked into the room with her hands behind her back, a court has heard.

Anna Eiao Browne, 37, is standing trial in the High Court at Auckland charged with the murder of Carly Stewart.

The pair had been attending a "pamper party" with a group of women and their children at a Te Atatu home last October.


However, the nail and eyelash party ended in bloodshed, when Stewart, 36, died from uncontrollable blood loss.

After a "tussle" between Browne and Stewart, Stewart's cousin, Patricia Stewart, told the court, she "grabbed Carly by the hand and I told her not to worry about [Browne]".

"It's not your problem, just leave her," Patricia told her cousin.

"Carly was angry. She said, 'Well, I don't care. I'm not scared of her'. Then she said, 'I'll be the bigger person and walk away'."

Just minutes later Patricia saw Browne enter the lounge area.

"Out of the corner of my eye I saw Anna come into the dining room. She had her hands behind her back.

"She had a look about her, I could sense something was about to happen.

"I called out to my daughter to just get outside, get out on to the deck."


She said Browne walked past her without flinching before she plunged the knife into the left side of Stewart's face.

"She stabbed Carly, and then just walked back out, she was just staring at Carly.

"I could see her removing - the knife coming out - and I could even hear it.

"I just saw that motion out of the corner of my eye," Patricia said.

"I could hear someone yell, 'She's got a knife!' I could hear someone say: 'Call 111'."

One of Stewart's friends, Corrin Phillip, who is affectionately known as "Little Corrin" by her friends, later gave evidence about the fateful day.


"Carly was getting her nails done, she was happy," Phillip told the court.
"We're happy, we're all happy."

Following the tussle between Browne and Stewart, Phillip said she saw Browne walking towards her friend, who was standing in the lounge.

"[Browne] just walked straight up to her and stabbed her in the face," she said, during her emotional testimony.

"She hid it - none of us knew she had that knife.

"We were family and all standing next to each other, and we didn't know - we didn't know.

"I knew straight away. F***, she'd been stabbed."


Phillip said Browne then "took off" and ran down the road.

"I just saw a big knife ... in her hand.

"All I saw was Carly grab her face ... and then blood just started gushing out of her mouth," she said through tears.

"I was looking for a towel and just stayed with Carly."

Yesterday, pathologist Dr Thambirajah Balachandra, who did Stewart's autopsy, said a vein in the 36-year-old's neck was severed when the knife entered the left side of her face, deep enough to hit the right side of her throat.

He estimated the wound to be about 11cm deep.


About 150ml of blood was found in Stewart's stomach as well as blood in her airways.