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Second Teenager Admits to 2017 Murder of Indian Man in New Zealand

Sandeep Dhiman

A second teenager pleaded guilty to murdering an Indian man in New Zealand after meeting him with an intent to rob him last year. Rosie Page Lewis admitted to killing Sandeep Dhiman in the High Court at Napier on June 29.

Lewis, who was 17 when the crime was committed, also pleaded guilty to a charge of causing grievous bodily harm to Dhiman with intent to rob him of his car and cellphone, nzherald.co.nz reported. The two had first met on the dating app Tinder, and then arranged to meet in person.

Lewis was remanded in custody by Justice Rebecca Ellis. Her sentencing is scheduled for July 22. The judge also lifted an earlier order that disallowed disclosure of Lewis’ name and identity, the report added.

Dhiman was found stabbed to death at Matahorua Road near Tutira on Dec. 18, 2017. The 30-year-old IT professional, who hailed from Punjab, moved to New Zealand on a student visa in June 2015, and worked as a fiber technician in a leading company in the country. He was planning to visit India in January 2018 where he was supposed to get married.

Two mobile phones and Dhiman’s car were found with the two accused. The other accused teenager, 17-year-old Shaun Liam Karauria, was charged with murder in December 2017. He also pleaded guilty and was sentenced last month to life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole term of 12 years.

Karauria had plotted with Lewis to steal Dhiman’s car, a gold-colored Toyota Passo, following which the latter arranged the meeting with the victim on the isolated country road. Karauria stabbed Dhiman nine times in the back, heart, throat and chest, and left him in a ditch beside Matahorua Rd, inland from Titira on State Highway 2. As the teenagers were driving away after the attack, Karauria saw that Dhiman was still moving, and so he returned and attacked him further, the report said.

Karauria tried to sell a car online for $1,500 the next day, while Dhiman’s mobile phone was traced to Lewis’ home, the Daily Mail reported.

Dhiman’s body was found 12 hours after the killing by a passing tanker driver. His parents, who were visiting his brother in Australia at the time of the incident, later took the body home to Kharar for cremation.