Jilted ex- Lakhvir Singh, 45, of Southall faces charges of murder and attempted murder after her secret lover of 16 years Lakhvinder Cheema, 32, of Feltham, west London, died and his fiancÈe Gurjeet Choongh, 22, fell ill after eating a curry laced with the deadly toxin aconite.
The prosecution allege married mother-of-three Ms. Singh poisoned the curry because she could not accept Mr. Cheema’s imminent marriage to Ms. Choongh.
Her trial drew to a close at the Old Bailey on Wednesday and a twelve person jury panel retired to deliberate their verdict. BBC News report they asked to take the Tupperware that held the poisonous curry into the jury room with them. Judge Worsley agreed but sensibly advised them not to remove the container from the transparent exhibit bag.
The judge refused, however, a request to let the jury examine a herb pot containing a trace amount of aconite – which the police say they found in Ms. Singh’s coat pocket – saying he was reluctant to release such a “highly dangerous” substance.
Mr. Cheema, nicknamed “lucky“, told Ms. Choongh that he had ended his affair with Ms. Singh three years ago. But the police found text messages from him to Ms. Singh days before his death, suggesting the relationship had not ended.
And tenants say they let Ms. Singh into Mr. Cheema’s house shortly before his death and even saw her handling the Tupperware containing the poisonous curry.
Defending Ms. Singh, Desmond de Silva QC alleged the poisoning may have been an “honour killing“. He told the court the brother of the accused had expressed extreme anger after finding out about the affair. “The prosecution case is fundamentally flawed. She is absolutely innocent.”
Ms. Choongh is an illegal immigrant, the barrister added. All Ms. Singh had to do was pick up a telephone and ring the authorities if she wanted Mr. Cheema to call off the wedding.
Apparently this is the first case of aconite poisoning in England since 1882.
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