Questions over CCTV footage in Wolverhampton murder trial

The reliability of CCTV evidence has been called into question in the trial of a husband accused of murdering his seamstress wife.

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

Gurpreet Singh, 45, is accused of being helped by a mysterious female accomplice to kill Sarbjit Kaur, 38, at their Wolverhampton home on February 16, 2018.

Birmingham Crown Court was previously shown footage of the mysterious figure entering the house in Rookery Lane, Penn, at about 8.15am on that day.

Singh, who denies murder, was also seen on the footage going to drop his children off at school at about 7.50am before he drove back home.

The mysterious figure was captured on footage leaving the property at 9.08am – minutes after Singh had left for work in his Jaguar just after 9am. The person, dressed in a hooded parka jacket and with a SportsDirect bag, is alleged by the prosecution to have been Singh’s accomplice but has not been identified.

More from the trial:

The court was told yesterday that a police officer claimed to have watched the CCTV footage for the entirety of the day and said nobody went into the home between the time the mysterious figure left and Singh later arrived home with his children.

Forensic video analyst David Spreadborough also gave evidence yesterday saying he had analysed the CCTV footage, taken from a property nearby the address.

He was asked by Mr David Mason QC, prosecuting, whether there was anything in the imagery which made him concerned about its reliability.

Giving his evidence over a video link, Mr Spreadborough replied: “No, in all of my analysis I could find no errors in the recording that I may see in some other recordings.

“I am satisfied on the imagery I have seen any movement is reliable.”

But Grant Fredericks, another forensic video analyst, said it was necessary to look at the quality of imagery when considering CCTV footage and to be aware of its limitations.

He also said it was possible that there may have been limitations to the camera angle and it could have missed other movements at the property. He told the jury: “There are many opportunities to have been positioned on certain areas of the property and never be visible to the camera.”

He admitted, hypothetically, if there was someone at the back of the property the CCTV footage would not have caught it.

The court previously heard that a call was made to the emergency services via the landline phone.

The prosecution says two WhatsApp calls were then made by Singh to his brother followed by a second call to the emergency services.

Mr Mason QC also previously told the jury that Singh had told police his home had been “ransacked. But prosecutors claim he staged a “fake burglary” to cover up her murder before leaving for work.

The trial continues.

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