Wellington Scoop

Tawa murder: life sentence for man who killed the mother of his baby

In the High Court in Wellington, today, Ernest Smith was sentenced to life imprisonment with no chance of release for 17 years, for killing Amanda Taufale in her Tawa home last November.

The NZ Herald reports that Justice Ronald Young said it was a “carefully planned murder” by Smith who waited for hours in Ms Taufale’s roof space and attacked her while she was asleep in her bed. He stabbed and slashed the woman who was mother to his 9-month-old baby, and left her to bleed to death.

News from NZ Police – September 17
Thirty-nine-year-old Ernest Smith today entered a guilty plea during a trial for the murder of Amanda Taufale. On behalf of her family, Kapiti-Mana Police have agreed to pass on the following statement from her father and family spokesperson, Graham Redman:

“It is a huge relief for the whole family that a guilty plea has been entered today. This has finally put to rest our fears of attending a trial and reliving the tragic events of last November. We will be eternally grateful for the tremendous support we have received from the Police, Victim Support, Mandy’s work colleagues and friends, and our own friends and wider family. This has been a tragedy for all concerned but today’s guilty plea will enable us to at last move forward with putting our lives back together, as much as we can. The family would now appreciate some privacy as we attempt to do so”.

Police will not be making any comment until sentencing occurs on 23 October in the Wellington High Court.

News from NZ Police – November 16, 2012
Kapiti Mana Police thank all those who have provided information for the Tawa murder inquiry. Over 70 people were spoken to this morning when officers canvassed train commuters at the Takapu Railway Station in Tawa. Police are wanting to locate a vehicle and are appealing for any sightings of a teal green or blue 1994 Mazda Lantis hatchback, registration BDS894.

The vehicle was taken from a Tawa address and may been left in the Makara area on Wednesday. The public may have noticed the vehicle as the driver’s door was red. It is possible the vehicle will have being driven by a 38-year-old male of West Indian descent with a shaved head.

Earlier News from NZ Police
Just after 9.00pm last night, Kapiti Mana Police charged a 38-year-old man with the murder of Amanda Dawn Taufale. Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Oxnam says “I know this will come as a relief to Amanda’s family. The investigation team is still working hard to understand the events leading up to Amanda’s death.

“At this stage, we are not looking for anyone else in connection with her death”.

Police are still appealing for anyone who has seen the late model blue Toyota Hatchback, registration GMB108 to come forward.

From 5.00am this morning, Police were canvassing train commuters at Takapu Railway Station for any sightings of the car and any occupants since Wednesday.

News from NZ Police – November 15
The body of a 33-year-old woman was found this morning at an address in Sunrise Boulevard, Tawa. She was a 33-year-old mother of two sons, Amanda Dawn Taufale who appeared to have died a violent death.

“Police wish to speak to 38-year-old Ernest Smith, who is believed to be a close associate of the victim,” said Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Oxnam of the Porirua Police CIB. “Police are appealing for any sightings of Taufale, Smith, or Smith’s vehicle around the Tawa area.

“In particular, Police are seeking any sightings of the vehicle in Sunrise Boulevard or Takapu Road Railway Station areas since Wednesday. The vehicle is a late model blue Toyota Corolla hatchback, registration GMB108″

At present there are over 35 Police staff working on the inquiry.

Earlier news from NZ Police
Porirua Police CIB have launched an inquiry following the discovery of the body of a 33-year-old woman at a Sunrise Boulevard address in Tawa. The victim was found by her family after what police believe has been a violent attack.

Police have secured two crime scenes, one at the Tawa address as well as a vehicle located near the Takapu Road Railway Station.

Police are appealing for anyone who has seen or heard anything in or around the Tawa address or the Railway Station to come forward.

Of particular interest is anyone travelling on trains this morning between 7.00 and 8.00am who may have seen anything around the vehicle which is a blue Toyota Corolla hatchback, registration GMB108.