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Man guilty of estranged wife's murder

17:59 Thu Mar 29 2012

A man who flew from Brisbane to kill his estranged wife in Auckland on Valentine's Day last year has been found guilty of murder.

Uday Desai, 48, has been on trial in the High Court in Auckland.

He was found guilty on Thursday of murdering 45-year-old Titiksha Desai, who died of wounds after her throat was slashed with a knife, at her Highland Park home on the night of February 14, 2011.

Desai was also found guilty of threatening to kill and assaulting neighbours who came to Mrs Desai's aid, Fairfax reports.

Crown lawyer Aaron Perkins earlier told the jury the couple separated in March 2008 and Desai moved to Australia, with their daughter following shortly afterwards.

He said Desai bought a one-way ticket from Brisbane to Auckland on February 13 last year and bought a knife from a supermarket the afternoon he landed.

Desai went to the Highland Park property about 10pm the next night and smashed a glass panel in the front door to get in, Mr Perkins said.

A neighbour who called police saw Desai thrashing at his wife's throat with the knife he bought the day before.

After the struggle Desai told one neighbour "you are next" and swung at another with the knife before another neighbour subdued him.

Among the statements he then made to neighbours was something like "I have done my job and she will die", Mr Perkins said.

He said Desai told police afterwards he was upset with negotiations over matrimonial property, accused Mrs Desai of setting his daughter against him, and said he came to Auckland to "put her down".

Desai defended himself in the trial.