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Akshay Anand CHAND





Classification: Homicide
Characteristics: Kidnapping
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: November 7, 2011
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: November 11, 1992
Victim profile: Christie Alexis Lesley Marceau, 18
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife
Location: Hillcrest, Auckland, New Zealand
Status: Acquitted of murder by reason of insanity. He was subsequently sentenced to three years imprisonment for kidnapping, and was committed to a psychiatric hospital indefinitely on October 17, 2012

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Murder of Christie Marceau

On 7 November 2011, eighteen-year-old Christie Alexis Lesley Marceau (born 16 April 1993) was stabbed to death by eighteen-year-old Akshay Anand Chand (born 11 November or 11 December 1992) at her home in Hillcrest, Auckland, New Zealand.

The murder came after Chand had kidnapped and assaulted Marceau in September 2011, and while awaiting trial on the charges, was bailed by the court to an address just 300 metres (1,000 ft) from Marceau's home, despite calls from Christie and the police to not grant bail.

Chand was subsequently charged with Marceau's murder, but, however, on 17 October 2012 was acquitted of her murder by reason of insanity. He was subsequently sentenced to three years imprisonment for kidnapping, and was committed to a psychiatric hospital indefinitely.

Following the death, Christie's parents Brian and Tracey Marceau started a campaign in conjunction with the Sensible Sentencing Trust to change legislation to introduce more stringent bail laws and increase the accountability of judges.


Akshay Chand and Christie Marceau had first met each other while attending Williow Park Primary School in the North Shore suburb of Hillcrest where they both lived. After they both left Willow Park at the end of 2003, the two remained out of contact with each other until September 2010, when they met again while working at the same North Shore supermarket.

In the following year, Chand and Marceau became friends, but the relationship was largely characterised by the naturally kind and generous Marceau providing emotional support for Chand. By the end of August 2011, Chand was no longer working at the supermarket and was unemployed.

On the morning of 6 September 2011, Marceau received a phone call from Chand, demanding that she come over to his house or he would kill himself. Concerned about Chand's well-being and fearing the worst, Marceau subsequently went to Chand's house nearby. Once she arrived, she was greeted by Chand and invited into the living room, while Chand locked the door behind her.

Sitting in the living room opposite Marceau, Chand began to talk about personal issues, before becoming agitated. At this point, he pulled a 20 cm long kitchen knife from his waistband and demanded Marceau's mobile phone. Forcefullty taking her phone, he subsequently told her "If you don't obey me, I will knife you. If you scream, I will knife you. If you try to escape, I will knife you." He then demanded her to take her clothes off, which after further threats of violence, Marceau complied and subsequently stripped down to her underwear.

Chand then confessed that he had intended to rape her, but had changed his mind and handed Marceau back her clothing and mobile phone, and allowed her to get dressed. As she was about to leave, Chand threatened that he would kill himself by swallowing crushed tablets (which were later revealed to be vitamin tablets), and while still terrified, Marceau attempted to dissuade Chand from attempting suicide. Marceau subsequently returned home, and after telling a family member, was taken to a local police station to report the incident.

Initial charge and bail

Chand was arrested by Police later on 6 September. In a statement to Police, he admitted detaining Marceau against her will, threatening her with a knife with the intention of raping her and threatening to stab her. He was subsequently charged by Police on three charges: kidnapping, threatening to cause grievous bodily harm, and assault with intent to sexually violate.

Chand first appeared in court the following day, and was remanded in custody. On 9 September, his application for bail was declined. Following the decision to decline bail, Chand wrote to the court, expressing deep remorse for what he had done and wanted to make amends.

On 5 October, a hearing on Chand's second application for bail was heard at the North Shore District Court before Judge David McNaughton. The Police filed their opposition, fearing tampering with witnesses (namely Marceau and her mother), and the mention during the police interview on 6 September that the attack was "revenge" against Marceau for not helping him.

A letter from Marceau herself expressed concern for her own safety, noting that the house where Chand, his mother and aunt lived and was to bailed to was only 300 metres from her own home, and the fear that he could attack her again going about her daily routine.

Despite the opposition, Judge McNaughton allowed bail on strict condition. Chand was bailed to his mother's house with a 24-hour curfew, with him not being allowed to leave the house except for medical or legal appointments, and only accompanied by a designated person.


On the morning of 7 November 2011, Christie was at home with her mother and maternal grandmother. Her father at the time was in Australia with work. The Marceau household was two stories and sat on a hill sloping away from the road, with the house's front door on the upper level and the back door on the lower level.

At around 7am, Christie was asleep downstairs and her mother was upstairs when the front doorbell rang. Christie was a frequent online shopper and it was not unusual for couriers to call in the early morning with deliveries. Thinking it was a courier, Christie's mother inadvertently opened the door to Chand, who was wielding a large kitchen knife. She backed away and screamed in warning to Christie, and when Chand asked who was home, her mother lied that Christie's father was home in another room.

Christie in reaction to her mother's scream had woken up and run up the stairs, only to be confronted by Chand. She was subsequently kicked in the chest by Chand, falling back down the stairs. Getting back up, Christie ran out the back door, across the rear deck to the back gate, and tried to unlatch the gate. Chand caught up to her, stabbing her in the left side of the face, causing Christie to collapse on the deck. She was stabbed an additional ten times by Chand, before the knife blade bent 90 degrees and became useless.

Christie's mother had left her daughter and Chand to call 111 (emergency telephone number). Her mother subsequently found Christie on the deck, still breathing, but Christie's injuries were too severe and she died in her mother's arms before emergency services could arrive. Chand remained at the scene until police arrived. When asked by one officer what he was doing at the house, he replied "[for] reprisal", and when further asked why his hands were shaking, he replied, "It's not easy to kill someone, is it?" He then asked officers if it was all right to listen to his iPod. He was subsequently arrested for Christie's murder.


Christie Marceau's last plea

By Anna Leask -

Thursday Oct 18, 2012

Teen's letter begged to keep attacker in jail. But the judge didn't, and she died at the hands of the man she feared.

Christie Marceau pleaded with authorities not to let Akshay Chand out on bail in a letter she wrote after he kidnapped her. She feared for her safety, and worried he would try to attack her again as "revenge".

Chand wrote his own letter saying he was remorseful and wanted to apologise - and after reading both letters, Judge David McNaughton released Chand on bail.

Thirty-two days later, Christie was dead after Chand stabbed her up to 10 times on the deck of her family home. The same day, Chand boasted to police that his letter had been part of a plan to get out of prison and kill Christie.

Chand, 19, was yesterday found not guilty of murdering Christie by reason of insanity. He was remanded to the Mason Clinic as a special patient, and can be released only if the Minister of Health deems him no longer a danger to the community or the Marceau family.

Christie's family have said they are adamant she would still be alive had Chand not been released on bail to live with his mother - 300m from the Marceau home.

Judge McNaughton ordered him not to have any contact with Christie and put him under a 24-hour curfew. Chand could leave his house only for legal or medical appointments.

The Herald can finally publish the details of that bail decision. Until yesterday, the documents Judge McNaughton had in front of him on the day he made his decision were suppressed.

They included both letters and a detailed police document opposing bail.

Chand lured Christie to his house on September 6 last year, saying if she did not come over he would kill himself.

When she got there, he threatened her with a knife, made her strip to her underwear and forced her to sit and listen to him rant about problems for 35 minutes.

He appeared in court the next day and was remanded in custody. He was denied bail on September 9.

On October 5, Judge McNaughton granted Chand's second bail application.

The police opposition document said the biggest risk in allowing Chand bail was that he might interfere with witnesses - namely Christie and her mother.

"He had admitted during his interview the reason for the attack was for revenge against the victim for not helping him ... This desire for revenge still exists," it said.

"The victim is terrified of the defendant. The attack has had a profound effect on her and made her not leave her mother's side since. She does not wish him to get bail, or to see him, and is quite concerned he may try to attack her again and go around to her house."

Yesterday, Crown Solicitor Simon Moore, SC, revealed Chand told police after Christie died that his letter was "lies" and "sappy" and was written with the sole purpose of getting bail so he could kill her.

In court yesterday, Chand showed no emotion, and his expression did not change as the details of how he killed Christie were read aloud for the first time.

Christie's parents, Brian and Tracey, and sister Heather sat in court, struggling at times to hold in their emotion.

They said they would not comment on the outcome until after Chand was sentenced today for the kidnapping.

Christie's letter:

I wish to oppose Akshay receiving bail as the events have made me wary of his intentions. I worry for my safety because of this and particularly as my father is currently on a fly in-fly out job in Australia which reduces the support I can rely on.

Akshay's family, mother and aunty, live close to my home so I feel that he may play on my thoughts as he knows my father is away for a reasonable period but he also knows my routine travelling to Uni and where I work in the city.

I am worried that he may still try to get revenge on me as he is already in trouble and has nothing to lose if he tries again. This causes me to fear for my safety.

I catch the bus to uni or work every week day, travelling from my local stop through Northcote to the city. So I am worried that living close by he would be able to follow me and get on the bus. As it is very public and I feel that I will be very vulnerable.

I also have exams for university coming up and wish to be able to concentrate on my studies and not have it constantly on my mind that he is out and has the possibility of getting me again.

I would like to get on with my life but at present I need to know that I don't have to encounter him as I try to restore my faith in people as this has caused me a lot of distress.

Christie Marceau

Chand's letter:

To Your Honour,

"I'm incredibly sorry for the ordeal I put Christie through. I am only remorseful for my actions. I know she will sooner forgive me than I will forgive myself.

Given the chance I will apologise to her, her parents and anyone else affected. Ironically the last thing she said to me was that she was sorry. It's only after the events of that day she realised how much pain depression caused me and how much I needed her and vice versa.

She was my emotional outlet. There was nothing that I couldn't tell her and vice versa.

She's really adamant and I'm sure she feels she's to blame. She acknowledges that her absence led to escalation and the impending event that occurred. But as modest as she is, truthfully the blame is on my shoulders.

I take full responsibility for my actions and accept the consequences of my wrongdoings.

In my defence what I did was aided by great psychological pressure. The kind of pressure that arises when you're sitting at the dining room table crushing up pills. And in your head you believe that no one cares if you live or die. I was desperate, vulnerable and exploited my own weakness.

I will do everything in my power to get the help I need. I've been put on antidepressants and am willing to receive counseling. I wish I had only asked for help earlier.

Yours sincerely,
Akshay Chand


Terrifying last moments at hands of insane killer

By Anna Leask -

Thursday Oct 18, 2012

Early on November 7 last year, Christie Marceau was killed at home in a brutal attack. Until now, suppression orders have prevented the Herald from telling her story. Today, we can reveal how and why she died.

Christie Marceau woke up to her mother screaming. She leaped out of bed and ran towards the piercing sound. Moments later, the teen was dead.

Heavy suppression orders have prevented the Herald from publishing the details of Christie's brutal death on November 7 last year.

But today, Christie's story can finally be told.

Akshay Anand Chand was found not guilty in the High Court at Auckland yesterday of murdering Christie by reason of insanity. But Justice Helen Winkelmann acknowledged that Chand did kill Christie after planning his attack for several months.

Christie's last moments were full of terror and violence - and all in her own home.

It was 7am when Chand rang the Marceaus' doorbell. Christie was asleep in her downstairs bedroom, and her mother, Tracey, was in the kitchen getting ready for work.

racey thought nothing of the early visitor because Christie was a fan of online shopping and often had couriers coming to the house early.

Christie's ordeal had begun two months earlier when Chand kidnapped her. He lured her to his house by saying he was going to kill himself, and when he got her there he threatened to "knife" her if she disobeyed him or screamed.

He made her strip to her underwear and forced her to sit, terrified and crying, for 35 minutes while he talked about his personal problems.

He told her he had been "visited" by the devil and was "fighting a losing battle". He said he was no longer the person he had been because the devil had taken him over.

Yesterday, Crown Solicitor Simon Moore, SC, said Chand and Christie knew each other, they worked together, but were not friends. Christie was known for looking after people who were "marginalised socially", and Chand was drawn to her because of her kind nature.

After 35 minutes he let a terrified Christie go. She reported the incident to police and Chand was arrested when they found him in North Shore Hospital following an overdose attempt. He appeared in court the next day and was remanded in custody, where he began plotting to kill Christie.

"He later told police it was here [on remand at Mt Eden Prison] where he hatched his plan to kill Christie. He realised that in order to achieve this, he obviously needed to be released from custody," Mr Moore told the court.

Chand penned a letter to the court to assist him in getting bail. Mr Moore said the letter was simply a "purposeful act of subterfuge which would provide him with the opportunity to carry out his plan". "He purported to experience deep remorse and a desire on his part to make amends."

Despite pleas from Christie, her family, and police, Chand was bailed to a house just 300 metres away on October 5. His mother and sister, terrified he would harm someone while on bail, hid all of the kitchen knives before he came home.

"He perfected his plan," Mr Moore said. "Despite his mother's and sister's efforts he found a kitchen knife and placed it in a carry bag with a hammer. He rightly suspected that the Marceau family would be on guard and vigilant after his release. He also assumed quite naturally they would become less security conscious."

Chand had woken at 6.30am and decided he would kill Christie. He got dressed and walked with the bag to the Marceau house.

When Mrs Marceau answered the door, he pulled out the knife. She screamed and Chand pushed past her into the house. He asked her who was home and she tried to "bluff" him, saying her husband, Brian, was in another room.

Seconds later Christie appeared at the top of the stairs that led to her bedroom. She saw Chand and also started to scream.

He rushed at her and kicked her hard in the stomach, causing her to tumble backwards down the stairs. She managed to get up and scrambled out of the back door. Chand chased her and Mrs Marceau ran to call 111. Christie ran out on to the back deck and was desperately trying to unlatch the gate when Chand got to her.

He stabbed her in the head, rendering her defenceless. He continued to stab her in the head, neck, and torso. The police summary of facts stated Chand stabbed Christie between five and 10 times in a "frenzied" attack.

The knife bent 90 degrees but Chand kept trying to stab her. He stopped only when he realised the knife was unusable.

Mr Moore said Mrs Marceau emerged from the house seconds later. "Tracey didn't witness the attack, though she was present for the immediate aftermath. She found her daughter lying on the deck, bleeding but still breathing. She died in her mother's arms. The police arrived moments later."

When officers converged on the house, Chand was standing just metres away from Christie, still holding the knife.

Witnesses said that when he realised Christie was dead, he smiled. They said "he was smiling with a sick grin as if he'd achieved his purpose".

One officer asked why Chand was at the house. He replied: "For reprisal."

A second officer noticed Chand's hands were shaking and asked why that was. His reply: "It's not easy to kill someone." He then asked if he could listen to his iPod while they decided what to do.

Chand was charged with murdering Christie later that day. He was devoid of emotion and told officers he was a "callous fiend. That's just who I am. I murdered her".

He appeared in North Shore District Court the next day. He did not apply for bail, but police had prepared an opposition form in the event that he tried. The details on that form were also suppressed. But now the Herald can publish the chilling information police gave to the court.

"The defendant has stated that he feels absolutely no remorse for the victim and she deserved to die 'because she let me down'. When he was previously bailed in October he took this opportunity to carefully plan and execute the murder of the victim," police said.

"The victim involved in the initial charges is now dead at the hands of the defendant ... [Chand] decided to kill the victim over a month ago when he was sent to prison. He has organised to get bail with the sole purpose of getting out to kill the victim. He called a letter he wrote to the court judge 'lies' and 'sappy', and said he was clearly a walking advert for the way the justice system worked. The defendant got bail and decided to wait for a few weeks before killing the victim as it would mean that she had time to relax and think she was safe. The defendant is such a danger to the public." Chand admitted killing Christie from day one and has never denied any of the facts.

The Marceau family have chosen not to speak about the case until Chand is sentenced. They were in court yesterday and heard every detail of Christie's death and the lead-up to the tragedy discussed at great length.

Mrs Marceau has spoken only once publicly about the day Christie died - that was in an exclusive interview with the Herald in December.

"At first when I saw him, it was just a shock. I didn't know what was going to happen, to be honest," she said, describing the moment she first saw Chand at her front door. "I watched the life drain out of her while I was still holding her. I felt her slip away from me.

"I was telling her to hang on, that help was on its way. I know she tried, she really tried. And then she was gone. An officer came and checked her. Someone was asking about an ambulance and he said no, they didn't need one. Then I definitely knew that it was all over."

For months after Christie died Mrs Marceau struggled with intense feelings of guilt and wondered if she could have saved her daughter if she had run after her instead of calling the police. "I will never forgive myself. I have to live with that forever, for the rest of my life. I know it's not my fault, but it still goes through my mind. It's all I ever think about.

"Nothing would have changed the outcome. I know that now. Everyone says I should be glad that I was here with her. But we should never have had to go through that. We should have been safe.

"I can't think of how I can describe it. You're just so, so empty. Sometimes I can't get up in the morning. I just don't want to carry on.

"It's so devastating, and I wouldn't wish it on anybody. To know that you're not going to hold her again, you're not going to see her ..."

Both sides agree on insanity

Akshay Anand Chand killed Christie Marceau - that is a fact he has never denied.

But it was accepted yesterday that when he stabbed the teenager to death, he was insane.

He had planned to kill her, he knew what he was doing - but he did not know his actions were "morally wrong", a court ruled.

Chand has been extensively examined and assessed by two of New Zealand's leading psychiatric experts - Dr David Chaplow for the defence and Professor Ian Mellsop for the Crown.

Both agreed that Chand was suffering a disease of the mind, namely an early stage of schizophrenia, when he stabbed Christie to death. After his arrest he told police he had a female "accomplice" and two more people would die - including Christie's mother. That accomplice, he said, would keep killing without him.

He later revealed that the female was "Pauline" - a voice he had been hearing in his head for at least 18 months. Pauline made him kill Christie because she was possessed by the devil.

Both Dr Chaplow and Professor Mellsop agreed that because of his psychological condition, Chand should not be held legally accountable for his actions.

They said that when he killed Christie, he was hallucinating and overwhelmed by his illness.

Chand had a short history of depression, but both experts said that was symptomatic of schizophrenia.

In a report provided to the court Dr Chaplow said Chand was "insightless as to his moral culpability at the time".

"Chand lacked moral understanding of right from wrong in that specific context," he said.

Professor Mellsop said Chand "knew the nature and quality of his acts".

"But the degree and severity of his disease of the mind meant that he did not know that what he was doing was morally wrong when he stabbed and killed Christie."

Both experts agreed that Chand should be made a "special patient", meaning he would be detained at a mental health facility until - if ever - he is no longer a danger to the public.

That means he may never be released. The decision can only be made by the Minister of Health.

Last September, Christie Marceau was interviewed by police about the kidnap ordeal Akshay Chand had put her through. She was shaken, terrified and too afraid to leave her mother Tracey's side. For the first time, the Herald can publish exactly what Christie told police.

Chand called Christie and told her if she did not come to his house he would take 40 pills crushed in a drink. Christie went to stop him. Christie tells police what happened next:

'He got really angry and then he pulled a knife out of his back pocket ... he got up and stood over me. His right hand was shaking it as he was waving it. It was a kitchen knife, like one of those ones that you pull out of a knife set ... it was about 20cm and it looked like he'd sharpened it.

He said 'this is how it's gonna go - if you scream I'm gonna knife you'. When he said that to me I started crying because I thought he was gonna kill me. I've never been so terrified in my life. Then he told me to shut up and compose myself.

I wanted to text my friend because I wanted someone to help me ... he got up and had the knife in his right hand. He was saying 'give me your phone ... we can either do this the hard way or the easy way'. He said 'you'll know what you get if you don't give it to me'.

He was holding the knife and he was twisting it around and he said he had 'aims'. He said his aim was to terrify me, get revenge and then to kill himself.

He told me to take off my jumper and I had to throw it to him. He checked the pockets ... then he told me to take my shirt off and I said I wouldn't. He said 'you know what will happen if you don't do it' - so I had to. Then he said 'now take off your pants'. I said 'no, I won't do it, it's too far ... I can't do it'.

I started crying more, because I was getting an idea of what he wanted to do ... He held the knife out and he said 'you know what will happen', so I took them off.

He was sitting on the armchair and he had the knife in his hand and every so often he'd twirl it in his fingers and then he'd look at his fingers and he'd be like 'ouch' - like he cut himself.

He was talking about ... how he believes one night the devil came and grabbed him and since then he's been in a losing battle.

I said 'are you going to kill me?' I felt like he was going to kill me ... he said that he planned to rape me. I burst out crying because I felt so terrified. Again, he told me to compose myself.

I thought if I cried out loud enough the neighbours in the next house would hear me because the whole time I was there I could hear them talking ... I just wanted someone to hear me ... I just wanted to cry louder because I could hear the neighbour and I thought he would be able to hear me and someone would be able to do something.

He put the knife down and he said 'I'm gonna let you go ... but I just want you to know that once you leave I'm gonna drink the drink'. I told him 'I don't want you to drink it ... it's not worth it'. He said it was his only option because his parents don't love him.

I just got in my car and I locked my door and I drove straight home.


Christie Marceau kidnapping details revealed

By Edward Gay -

Thursday Sep 27, 2012

Teenager Christie Marceau was held at knife point and told she would be stabbed if she didn't follow orders from the man who is alleged to have later murdered her.

Akshay Anand Chand appeared at the High Court at Auckland today where he pleaded guilty to charges of kidnapping, assault with intent to commit sexual violation and of threatening Christie with grievous bodily harm. The charges were laid in September last year.

He also faces a charge of murdering Christie two months later but has not entered a plea on that charge.

Crown prosecutor Simon Moore SC indicated Chand's lawyers would be arguing a defence of not guilty by reason of insanity.

Details of the earlier kidnapping charges were revealed in court today by Mr Moore as he read the police summary of facts.

Chand and Christie went to the same primary school and met up again in their teens while working at the local supermarket.

The court heard how on the morning of September 6 last year, Chand called Christie and demanded she come to his house or he would "hurt himself''.

Chand hid a kitchen knife in the waistband of his trousers before Christie arrived.

The pair sat in the lounge room and Chand began talking about his "personal issues''.

He began to get agitated and demanded Christie hand over her cell phone before pulling out his knife.

He told her: "If you don't obey me, I will knife you, if you scream, I will knife you, if you try to escape, I will knife you.''

Chand demanded that Christie take off her clothes and threatened her again. She stripped down to her underwear.

He continued to talk about his problems for about 35 minutes before he allowed Christie to put her clothes back on and leave.

But before she left, Chand told her he would kill himself when she had gone.

Christie told a family member of the threat.

Chand later told police that he had planned to rape Christie but didn't go ahead with it.

Chief High Court judge Justice Helen Winkelmann remanded him in custody and he is due to be sentenced next month.

Christie's family, supported by the Sensible Sentencing Trust, were in court for today's hearing.

They have been campaigning for tougher bail laws, and made a verbal submission at a Law and Order Select Committee last month.

Chand was arrested and remanded in custody last September on the kidnapping charges but after several court appearances he was granted bail on the condition that he lived at his mother's house, only a few streets from the Marceaus' home on Auckland's North Shore.

He was also placed under a 24-hour curfew and ordered not to leave the house unless
he was attending medical or legal appointments and was accompanied by one of two specific adults.

Two months after the kidnapping, Christie was fatally stabbed and died in her mother's arms.

Police found Chand at the property, and he was later charged with murder.

Speaking through tears, Tracey Marceau told the select committee that the day Christie died had destroyed her life.

"On November 7 2011 my heart shattered and my life changed forever. You cannot save my baby Christie, or me. But you can help the people of New Zealand,'' she said.

The committee also heard from others involved with Christie's Law, which was backed by a petition containing more than 60,000 signatures from people across New Zealand.



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