Epsom double stabbing: Murder accused’s case back in court

A trial date has been set for the man accused of killing Epsom couple Herman and Elizabeth Bangera and the attempted murder of a third person.

The man, 29, was not in the High Court at Auckland today for the second time his case was called since the fatal stabbings on March 19, therefore no plea has been entered.

He has been remanded in custody at the Mason Clinic Regional Forensic Psychiatry Services under the Mental Health Act. A name suppression order remains in place.

A three-week trial has been set for April 26 next year.

Police were called to Herman and Elizabeth Bangera’s house in the Auckland suburb of Epsom and found the couple critically hurt.

The pair died at the scene from stab wounds in a family harm incident, police say.

A critically injured man was discovered at the house and taken to Auckland City Hospital.

The murder-accused was also recovering from critical injuries at Auckland City Hospital when his first court hearing was called on March 26 following the incident.

Lawyer Shane Cassidy appeared on his behalf at Auckland District Court that day.

The defendant has since been discharged from hospital and taken into police custody.

At the time of the deaths, Detective Inspector Scott Beard called them an “absolute tragedy”.

Herman Bangera and Elizabeth Bangera

Pamela Brooking, former director of Child Evangelism Fellowship, who knew the couple well, described Herman, 60, as a “lovely man and wonderful dad” and the family as the “epitome of what family is”.

Brooking said Herman was a volunteer at the organisation for a period of time since about 2011 when it had its headquarters in Penrose.

AUT lecturer Ranjana Gupta earlier told the Herald she was shocked to learn her former neighbours were dead.

Elizabeth Bangera, 55, worked at the University of Auckland.

A spokesperson said the university was “shocked and saddened”.

“Elizabeth has been part of our university community for many years, working as a group services co-ordinator in the School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences.

“She was a highly respected colleague and friend.”

The couple immigrated to New Zealand from the Indian state of Goa and moved into the block of flats around 2007 because it was in zone for Auckland Grammar where their son attended, Gupta said.

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