Davender Singh trial: Lovers found guilty of murder

Davender Singh trial: Lovers found guilty of murder

By Boris Jancic

They had a plan, there was a killing, and when it all unravelled they turned on each other.

Now two former lovers have both been found guilty of murder.

It took a jury six hours to convict Amandeep Kaur and Gurjinder Singh for the murder of Kaur's husband, Davender Singh, in August last year.

As the verdict was read, the pair stood in silence, within arms-reach of each other, Kaur choking back tears and Singh gently shaking his head.

The Crown had argued Kaur, 32, had convinced Singh, 27, to kill her husband so they could stay together after an affair the pair were having was discovered.

Mr Singh, 35, had his throat slashed in the Auckland suburb of Papatoetoe while sitting with Kaur in their parked car.

The key question for the jury was which of the two was the attacker and whether the other helped.

Prosecutors presented letters which the two had written after they were forbidden from speaking by Mr Singh.

The notes painted a picture of a woman in a physically abusive relationship looking for a way out by talking her lover into killing, prosecutors said.

Crown lawyer Natalie Walker said Kaur led her husband "like a lamb to the slaughter", getting him to stop his car at a spot where Singh was waiting with a blade.

Forensic experts painted a gruesome picture of Mr Singh's throat being slashed before he was stabbed five times and partly decapitated.

Seven cuts across his arms told the story of someone hopelessly trying to defend himself.

The prosecution said the evidence even pointed to Kaur holding her husband's hands down while Singh attacked him through an open car window.

She then lied that the attack had been a random robbery, Ms Walker said.

Questioned by police shortly after, Kaur pointed the finger at Singh.

Brought in as well, a visibly upset Singh asked Kaur why she had not confessed.

"You were holding his hands, weren't you?" he said to her in a joint interview.

In the courtroom, they turned on each other.

Singh said Kaur had killed her husband before he arrived and he had been used as a scapegoat.

He said the notes about killing were written by Kaur alone, and he only wanted to talk to Mr Singh on the day of the attack.

He had no reason to kill Mr Singh and the forensic evidence was consistent with Kaur doing it herself from the passenger seat, lawyer Iswari Jayanandan argued.

Meanwhile, Kaur said she had called the killing off - admitting they had planned it - but saying she and Mr Singh had reconciled.

Her lawyer John Anderson said Singh's love turned to hate soon after and he killed Kaur's husband in a jealous rage.

She had only tried to cover up the killing to hide the affair - fearing the judgment of the Sikh community, he said.

But prosecutor Natalie Walker said Kaur had never changed her mind. "She never cancelled the plan, she never withdrew from it.

"In fact, other than getting caught, this all went to plan."

Outside the court, Detective Sergeant Stephen Nightingale read a statement from Mr Singh's family, saying the verdict was a relief.

Kaur and Singh will be sentenced in February.