Following his first trial in 2019 which ended in a hung jury, Sydney’s Kulwinder Singh faced a second trial where he was found not guilty of murdering his wife Parwinder Kaur by lighting her on fire in 2013, the Sydney Morning Herald reported today.
Regarding the night of December 2, seven years ago, a neighbour told the trial she heard a scream around 2 pm and then out of her window, saw the victim running down her driveway engulfed in flames with Kulwinder Singh running after her making motions which indicated that he was trying to pat the fire out with his hands, according to the daily.
90 per cent of Parwinder Kaur’s body had suffered burns and she passed away in hospital the next day.
The post-mortem exam revealed that she had a bruise near her hairline and a contusion on her eyelid. A forensic pathologist believed this was caused by two different blunt-force impacts, the SMH reported.
Yesterday, after three hours of serious discussion, a jury of five men and seven women found Kulwinder Singh not guilty.
As per the news report, Crown prosecutor Philip Hogan in his closing address said that Singh had made multiple threats to harm Parwinder Kaur, including saying in October 2012: “She’s my wife, I can do anything – I can kill her, I can beat her, I can do anything I like.”
Hogan also brought forward threats Singh had made to his wife’s family in India towards the end of 2013.
“If she thinks that she will leave me, I will not let that happen. I will kill her, we kill people and no one knows, no one gets to know.”
It was also said that the relationship between the husband and wife was an “unhappy” one and that Parwinder Kaur wanted a divorce. The prosecutor also revealed that at one point the victim had called her brother and told him she was being domestically abused by her partner and that she was kicked out of the house.
Kulwinder Singh poured petrol over his wife to scare her because she was no longer contributing to the mortgage payments which put the account in arrears, Hogan added.
“When he poured the petrol on her, he may not have intended to go ahead with lighting it,” Mr Hogan said.
“The Crown says the conclusion you’d come to is that Parwinder tried to leave the laundry, and as she left the laundry the accused set her clothing on fire.”
According to the Herald, Defence barrister Margaret Cunneen SC in her closing address said that Kulwinder Singh is not a murderer. She said Parwinder Kaur’s death was a tragic accident, where the victim had lit herself on fire for attention, not realising the synthetic fibre of her clothes would burn quickly.
Another publication News.com reported that she may have set herself on fire after watching a movie in which a woman’s husband and birth family reunite around her hospital bed after she is accidentally shot by her father. The report said a film with such a storyline was found in the DVD player of the pair’s Rouse Hill home.
Cunneen pointed out that the lack of Kulwinder Singh’s DNA on the lighter or tin of petrol found in the laundry confirmed his innocence, while the victim’s fingerprints were found on both items.
She also said it was human nature to find someone to blame in such circumstances, but in this case, there was no evidence to support that Kulwinder Singh was guilty, the SMH reported.
The jury was informed that on the day that Parwinder Kaur was found severely burnt on her front lawn, she had rung triple zero and said “my husband nearly kill me”. She had made a similar call even back in January of 2013, the news report said.
The trial also saw a police interview of Kulwinder Singh, where he denied setting his wife on fire and then sat on the ground and hit his head against the wall when he was told she was expected to succumb to her injuries.
According to the daily, he was upstairs getting clothes when he heard his wife’s scream and then rushed outside.
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