The apparent ransacking of the detached house in a leafy Wolverhampton street was an attempt by building contractor Gurpreet Singh to make it appear that burglars had been responsible for his wife’s murder, it is alleged.
The floors of the Rookery Lane property, where 38-year-old Sarbjit Kaur was found dead in her sewing workshop on February 16 last year, were strewn with upturned furniture and the contents of cupboards and drawers, jewellery, iPods and camcorders were also clearly on display, Birmingham Crown Court heard.
Singh is also on trial for soliciting the murder of his previous wife Amandeep Kaur, the mother of his two children, five years ago.
Detective Constable Spencer Jenkins talked the jury through CCTV footage of the defendant’s movements that day, which showed him visit the Sikh temple on Upper Villiers Street minutes after allegedly murdering Sarbjit between 8.15am and 9am with the help of an unknown accomplice.
Singh, 43, is seen entering the Guru Teg Bahadur Gurdwara and kneel in prayer in front of a shrine before going to work at the business he ran with his brother in Moor Street, where during the day he was seen to rub and inspect his hands, said DC Jenkins.
The jury heard that when he returned to the family home just after 4pm after picking up his children from school, he failed to call out to his wife on arrival as was his usual practice.
“We say because he knew there was no point as he knew she was lying on in her sewing room and had been dead for some hours,” said Mr David Mason, QC, prosecuting.
The court heard there was no sign of a break in at the house.
Singh’s alleged accomplice, wearing a parka with the hood up and carrying a Sports Direct bag over his shoulder, was also seen arriving at the house at 8.15am and departing at 9.04am, three minutes after Singh left.
Police tracked his movements only as far as Goldthorn Road. DC Jenkins said that despite hours of trawling through CCTV footage from many locations there were no more sightings of the mystery figure.
Singh, of Coalway Road, Penn, denies murdering Sarbjit Kaur and soliciting the murder of his first wife in 2013. The trial continues.