One of New Zealand's top judges says it is "extraordinary" that an obsessive killer maintained his fiction and lies to a jury as he attempted to defend a brutal and frenzied murder.

Rohit Deepak Singh was jailed for life after killing his former partner Arishma Singh (Chand) during the early hours of November 12, 2017.

It took a High Court jury just 40 minutes to find him guilty, despite a nearly month-long trial last year.

Singh had lay in wait for the 24-year-old mum to return to her Manurewa home before slaughtering her with a large kitchen knife.

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The now 43-year-old Singh, however, tried to spin a web of lies around the jury and police, which included a bogus alibi.

He was sentenced in February to life imprisonment with a minimum period of imprisonment of 19 years by Justice Grant Powell.

Justice Forrie Miller said it was extraordinary that Rohit Singh maintained his fiction during the trial. Photo / File
Justice Forrie Miller said it was extraordinary that Rohit Singh maintained his fiction during the trial. Photo / File

Today, at a brief Court of Appeal hearing in Auckland, Singh sought to reduce the time he might spend behind bars.

The court heard he had instructed his new counsel, Mark Ryan, to no longer appeal his murder conviction and sought to only reduce his minimum period of imprisonment.

Justice Forrie Miller said it was "extraordinary that he maintained this fiction all the way".

When sentencing Singh, Justice Powell described the murder as "both brutal and callous", a sentiment that was echoed today by Justice Miller.

He and the two other Court of Appeal judges, Justice Mark Woolford and Justice Mary Peters, reserved their decision.

The motive for the murder, the court heard during the trial, was Singh's obsession and infatuation with his old girlfriend, whom he had stalked for a year.

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"An evil act, the consequences of which can never be undone," Justice Powell said at sentencing.

Arishma Singh's body was found in her South Auckland home by her parents. Photo / Supplied
Arishma Singh's body was found in her South Auckland home by her parents. Photo / Supplied

Shortly after the child educator's death, the Herald revealed Arishma had just returned home from a friend's birthday party when she was killed by Singh.

Less than 16 minutes later he had fled and Arishma's parents arrived home to find their daughter lying in a pool of blood.

She had been stabbed in the back, shoulder and arm, bashed across the back of her head with a weapon, and had her face slashed.

A wound to her groin had also cut a vital artery.

The murder weapon Singh used, however, was never found.

Arishma's parents, Rakesh and Aradhana Singh, called their daughter's killer "a despicable person".

"The night I held my lifeless daughter in a pool of blood turned my world upside down - my heart broke into a million pieces," Rakesh wrote in his victim impact statement, which was read at Singh's sentencing.

A statement from Arishma's mum to the killer also said: "I hate you for your cowardly act. You shattered Arishma's dreams and hopes ... I hope you truly never have a day of peace ... After today we shall never think of you again."

Police at the scene of the homicide on Maich Rd in Manurewa on November 12, 2017. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Police at the scene of the homicide on Maich Rd in Manurewa on November 12, 2017. Photo / Jason Oxenham

Singh's obsessive behaviour prior to the killing included threatening Facebook messages, an inundation of daily calls and text messages and a tattoo of Arishma's face on his chest.

Arishma was also followed by her would-be-killer and photographed, while on the night of the murder he was watching her home from a car.

He had also earlier told a friend of his plans to kill, while cellphone polling data placed him near the house at the time of the murder.

After killing his ex, Singh drove to Auckland's North Shore and later made a false statement to police in an attempt to create his bogus alibi.

He claimed he had been robbed by a group of young women, but the scratch marks on his face - which he attributed to his fake mugging - proved to be a match to the DNA found under Arishma's fingernails.

Where to get help

If you're in danger now:

• Phone the police on 111 or ask neighbours or friends to ring for you.
• Run outside and head for where there are other people.
• Scream for help so that your neighbours can hear you.
• Take the children with you.
• Don't stop to get anything else.
• If you are being abused, remember it's not your fault. Violence is never okay.

Where to go for help or more information:

• Shine, free national helpline 9am- 11pm every day - 0508 744 633 www.2shine.org.nz
• Women's Refuge: Free national crisis line operates 24/7 - 0800 refuge or 0800 733 843 www.womensrefuge.org.nz
• Shakti: Providing specialist cultural services for African, Asian and middle eastern women and their children. Crisis line 24/7 0800 742 584