Wolverhampton wife murder was 'callous' and 'premeditated', says top cop

A senior police officer who spearheaded efforts to bring a "callous" husband to justice has welcomed the guilty verdict after almost three years of police work.

A court sketch showing Gurpreet Singh at Birmingham Crown Court
A court sketch showing Gurpreet Singh at Birmingham Crown Court

Jurors at Birmingham Crown Court found Gurpreet Singh, 45, was guilty of murdering his wife Sarbjit Kaur at their home in Rookery Lane, Wolverhampton, on February 16, 2018.

Superintendent Chris Mallett said: "It's three years down the line almost and it's been a long haul with the first trial and then Covid-19 putting the next trial back.

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"We're really proud and happy, and pleased and happy for Sarbjit's family. They've got some closure to what was an unfortunate event.

"A significant amount of time [was spent working on the case]. Whilst the circumstances are relatively straight-forward, getting to that point was not.

"It took a lot of time with witnesses, forensic evidence and the CCTV, which was critical to the investigation because it showed his version of events wasn't accurate."

Supt Mallett hailed the importance of the video footage – which captured movements outside the family home on Rookery Lane – as crucial in the case.

Police at the scene in Rookery Lane

"When we received the footage from the property nearby which showed his address when she, the female, was walking into the property and leaving, that was when our suspicions became very firm and it pointed to him being complicit," he said.

"It's a huge undertaking [trawling CCTV] – it's always critical because it's everywhere, so you go out and you identify where there are cameras and then you recover that footage. Then you put that onto drivers and then trawl through the hours and hours of footage, both positive and negative, but the team here do it really well and have been very professional.

Gurpreet Singh. Pic: West Midlands Police

"Had it not been for the CCTV, we would've been in a difficult position to prove his guilt. The suspicion grew [that he was responsible] – he always had to be borne in mind, as with any domestic setting murder, but he had gone out of his way to make it look like a burglary had taken place. It was clear to officers investigating and forensic scene investigators it was too contrived and there was no signs of forced entry either."

Police efforts have been made to track down the mysterious female figure seen leaving the property, but to no success – with phone records for Gurpreet Singh checked, witnesses interviewed and a public appeal for help resulting in no leads.

The police official said: "Every effort has been made to track her down – we have followed her as far as we can from the scene, obviously, but CCTV has not taken us to a particular place.

CCTV images released by police of the mysterious female figure

"We've put out a series of appeals and had nothing back from the community either. Whilst we've done everything we can, we still are actively open to receiving evidence from the community."

Supt Mallett described the crime as "callous" and premeditated by Singh – with the defendant's children being the first to discover their stepmother, Sarbjit Kaur, dead in the home.

Sarbjit Kaur. Pic: West Midlands Police

He said: "He [Singh] has always maintained his innocence and we've been able to demonstrate it was premeditated – he arranged for the CCTV to be out of service at the time, he has clearly acted or conspired with a third party, contrived a burglary, and allowed his children to enter the property first [when Singh picked them up from school] knowing full well they will find their stepmother dead. He hasn't protected them in any way and that's in the wake of them having already lost their mother some short time before.

"They were traumatised by that and now they've been traumatised further."

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