A man who killed his ex-partner and her 3-year-old daughter and buried their bodies under a bridge is appealing his convictions more than three years after being sent to prison.

Pakeeza Yusuf and her daughter, Juwairiyah "Jojo" Kalim, lay covered by stone and mud on Auckland's North Shore for nearly eight years before they were found.

Kamal Gyanendra Reddy was found guilty of their murder at trial in 2016 after a six-month undercover police operation drew a confession from him.

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Reddy was drawn into a trap constructed by officers over six months.

Finally, on October 14, 2014, he confessed to strangling his partner Yusuf with the cord of an electric iron, and smothering Jojo.

In the Court of Appeal in Wellington this morning, Reddy's lawyer, Paul Dacre QC, said there was no evidence to corroborate Reddy's confession and the information he gave to undercover police.

The only solid evidence police had was Reddy being able to show them the location of the bodies, and evidence from someone else who spoke about Reddy confessing to them.

Juwairiyah Kalim, known as 'Jojo'. Photo / Supplied
Juwairiyah Kalim, known as 'Jojo'. Photo / Supplied

During Reddy's trial, he claimed someone else murdered the victims, and his only role was to suggest a location where the bodies could be hidden.

Dacre also criticised the judge's summing up to the jury, saying he didn't emphasise enough the fact the case was different to usual cases and so needed to be handled with more care.

He also raised issues about Reddy's filmed confession and the way his body language was interpreted.

Crown lawyer Mark Lillico said there was other information to corroborate Reddy's confession, including specific details he gave about the way the bodies were buried.

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For example, Reddy spoke about being able to lie the bodies out flat, and this was the position they were found in. There were also no injuries found on the skeletal remains that could indicate they were killed by a different method to what Reddy described.

Co-counsel for the Crown Peter Marshall also raised examples of how the judge had sufficiently warned the jury about the possibility of a false confession.

Marshall also said there was nothing in the record to suggest the jury focused "inappropriately" on Reddy's body language or demeanour in the confession video.

Pakeeza with Jojo. Photo / Supplied
Pakeeza with Jojo. Photo / Supplied

The Court of Appeal judges have reserved their decision.

The undercover sting

Numerous scenarios carefully constructed by undercover police convinced Reddy he was working for and belonging to a gang that he could trust.

Regular briefings between his handler and bosses of the police's undercover programme were all aimed at ultimately uncovering whether the man had a role in his victims' disappearance.

It took a carefully orchestrated scenario before Reddy opened up about his past relationship with Yusuf.

While he and his undercover buddy were driving through Wellington on October 10, 2014, they were forced to stop while someone crossed the road.

The man on the pedestrian crossing was Detective David Sanday, who had previously questioned Reddy about the victims' disappearance in Auckland months earlier.

Soon after, he pulled the men over and it inevitably sparked a conversation during which Reddy had to bring up his link to the missing females.

Gradually, over half a year, the principles of the gang were drummed home to the defendant.

He was eventually brought to a meeting with the "gang's" boss, who said he had heard plenty of good things about "Kam" but one thing had come to his attention that troubled him - some rumblings about his connection to two missing people.

The boss wanted to know the truth so if there was a risk to the group as a whole he could "put a plan in place".

By the end of the day, he had told his prospective employer how he had killed the mother and daughter, buried their bodies under a North Shore motorway bridge and systematically disposed of their belongings in skips and clothing bins around the city.

Days later he drove the undercover police to the spot where his victims were buried. He was arrested and charged with murder soon after.

Photo taken by an undercover police officer showing Kamal Reddy standing on the spot where he buried his partner and her child. Photo / via Police
Photo taken by an undercover police officer showing Kamal Reddy standing on the spot where he buried his partner and her child. Photo / via Police