December 10, 2023

Three men charged with murder over fatal stabbing of Sandringham dairy worker

Watch: Three people now face murder charges over the death of a Sandringham dairy worker last year.

Three men have now been charged with the murder of Sandringham dairy worker Janak Patel. 

Patel, who was looking after the dairy while the owners were overseas, was fatally stabbed outside the Rose Cottage Superette on November 23 and later died.

Henry Fred and Shane Tane were initially charged with robbery but had their charges upgraded to the murder of Patel on Wednesday when their cases were called at the High Court in Auckland.  

Justice Sally Fitzgerald confirmed name suppression had lapsed for the third man, Frederick Hobson, who was initially charged with murder.

Hobson and Fred entered a not-guilty plea and are scheduled to go to trial in May 2024 while Tane is yet to enter a plea.

The death of Patel sparked widespread criticism of the Government which was accused of not doing enough to protect dairy workers. 

The Dairy and Business Owners’ Group chair Sunny Kaushal told AM last year it had been warning the Government someone will be killed as offenders continued to hit New Zealand businesses.

“We warned someone would be seriously injured or killed,” he said. “Yet we only get radio silence from a Government that has our blood on its hands.”

A Givealittle page was created by the Dairy and Business Owners’ Group and had raised over $101,000 to assist the victim’s family “over an unimaginably trying time ahead”.

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