There was bad blood between building contractor Gurpreet Singh and the family of his first wife Amandeep Kaur, who died on holiday in India in 2014, after he told them he was going to remarry, a murder trial heard.
Her brother Bikramjit Singh is said to have enlisted one of the Wolverhampton businessman’s former employees to say he was approached by his boss to kill Amandeep so that he would be free to marry someone else.
Gurpreet Singh is accused of soliciting the murder of his first wife in 2013 and of murdering his second wife Sarbjit Kaur at their home in Rookery Lane, Penn, in February last year. He denies both charges.
Mr Orlando Pownall, QC, defending Singh, said to Mr Uppal: “At a later stage in the trial, the jury will be asked to consider whether you were involved with Bikramjit Singh to give a lying account about what happened in 2013 and therefore you must have the opportunity of dealing with that.
“So were you recruited by Bikramjit Singh to tell a pack of lies about what happened in 2013?” Mr Uppal replied: “No.”
More from the trial:
Amandeep Kaur was “absolutely healthy” when she left with Singh and their two children to visit his family in India the following year, according to her brother.
She died of a brain haemorrhage whilst on the trip.
Five months later her husband told her family that he wanted to remarry.
Bikramjit Singh said they were “shocked” at the speed of the new relationship and upset at being banned from seeing the children.
Before the defendant married his second wife Sarbjit, she lived in Martin Street, Parkfields, Wolverhampton, Birmingham Crown Court was told.
Neighbours give evidence
Her neighbours told the jury that Gurpreet Singh, who was also known as Sonny, regularly visited the address and that Sarbjit referred to him as her husband.
Speaking of Sarbjit, next-door neighbour Jagdish Chander told police: "She told me that Sonny is her husband and owned his own company and had moved his office to the front room of the house."
His car or van was often outside the address at 7.45am when he returned home from his night shift and also in the evenings, said Mr Chander, although neither he nor his wife saw his vehicle remain there overnight.
In an anonymous letter sent to the defendant's children at their school, it was alleged that Singh was having an affair with Sarbjit, referred to as "your evil stepmum", while still married to their mother Amandeep.
Uppal claimed he was offered £20,000 by Singh to pose as a postman and stab Amandeep when she answered the door.
He left for India shortly afterwards with a £2,000 advance payment without executing the plan, the jury heard.
The trial continues.