Wolverhampton businessman staged fake burglary after murdering wife, court told

A Wolverhampton businessman strangled his wife and staged a "fake burglary" to cover up her murder before leaving for work, a trial heard.

Sarbjit Kaur, inset, was found dead at the family home in Wolverhampton
Sarbjit Kaur, inset, was found dead at the family home in Wolverhampton

Birmingham Crown Court was told that Gurpreet Singh, 45, was helped by a mysterious female accomplice to kill Sarbjit Kaur, 38, at their Wolverhampton home on February 16, 2018.

Singh, who denies murder, was found with scratches on his hands, while the couple's home, on Rookery Lane, was upturned in an unusual way after her death, the jury was told.

Mrs Kaur was also found with chilli powder on her face and body which prosecutors allege was used to incapacitate her.

She was allegedly killed within a 53-minute period, between Singh returning from dropping off his children at school at 8.10am and leaving for work in his Jaguar at 9.03am.

Singh told police he found his wife dead in her workroom after returning home that afternoon with his children from school, jurors were told.

Police at the scene in Rookery Lane

Upon arriving home Singh called police to say his home had been "ransacked", said David Mason QC, prosecuting.

"When emergency services arrived, they discovered the body of Sarbjit on the floor, dressed in the same clothes she wears around the house," said Mr Mason.

"She had red or orange powder on her face and body as well as on the floor around her. It was some form of chilli powder which was in no doubt used to incapacitate her.

"The house had been clearly subjected to some form of disturbance.

"We, the prosecution, say it was made to look like an untidy search. There was a swift and unusual search of the house.

"The majority of items of high value were left there. This was not some domestic burglary . There is absolutely no dispute that this was a fake burglary."

Suspect

He added: "Mr Singh had scratches on his hands when seen by the police.

"The prosecution says these were caused by his wife, as she tried to pull his hands from her neck, while he strangled her."

The court was told that at first, Singh was treated as a witness but in interview, he lied to police about being alone with Mrs Kaur after dropping his children off, turning him into a suspect.

Mr Mason said CCTV footage, from a neighbour's house, captured a woman in a hooded parka jacket being let into the property at 8.15am, carrying a Sports Direct bag.

A mysterious hooded figure was seen leaving the house

This person did not leave the house until 9.07am - four minutes after Singh drove off to work - carrying the same bag.

The mystery suspect was were captured on more CCTV walking up Rookery Lane and Goldthorn Hill but after that "pretty much disappeared", said Mr Mason.

The accomplice has never been found. Their gender is not known but the prosecution say she is female due to her height being 5ft 2in.

Mr Mason said she was let into the door of Mrs Kaur's workroom which was annexed to the house. Mrs Kaur was a seamstress and ran a successful business, the court heard.

"After Mr Singh got home from the school run, he already had a plan to kill his wife," said Mr Mason.

He said Singh could have "recruited a mistress or colleague" to help out. "Perhaps we will never know [their identity]," he said.

"Gurpreet and an unknown assistant killed Sarbjit before he went to work. There is no evidence anybody else was involved."

Singh's first wife died in India four years ago, jurors were told. His two children are from his first wife.

At the time of Mrs Kaur's alleged murder, Singh, 42, ran a successful concrete company.

The trial continues.

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