Three jailed over machete murder
A teenager who was free to murder a mother-of-two with a machete despite being reported as a bogus student two months earlier has been jailed for life.
Sher Singh, 19, killed Geeta Aulakh on behalf of her jealous husband even though the UK Border Agency was told he was not attending college.
No action was taken, leaving Singh, who is from India, free to butcher the popular Sunrise Radio receptionist as she went to pick up her sons from a childminder. Her husband, Harpreet Aulakh, ordered the murder after she had asked him for a divorce, the Old Bailey heard.
Aulakh, 32, of Greenford, west London, and Singh, 19, of Southall, west London, were jailed alongside look-out Jaswant Dhillon, 30, of Ilford, east London.
Sentencing the gang, Mr Justice Saunders said: "It was a pointless, cold-blooded killing of a woman about whom no-one except Aulakh had a bad word to say."
Aulakh was told he must serve at least 28 years behind bars, while Singh and Dhillon were each given 22-year minimum terms. Jurors were unable to agree a verdict on 20-year-old Harpreet Singh, of Slough, Berkshire. He denies murder and will now face a retrial.
Mrs Aulakh, 28, had her right hand severed from her arm as she sought to shield herself from at least four heavy blows inflicted by Singh with the 14-inch machete during the attack in Greenford in November last year.
Singh had arrived in the country on July 16 on a "tier four" student visa and registered for a course in hospitality management at Kings Langley College, but he never attended any classes. After a warning, he went for a meeting with the principal and promised to improve but staff at the college in New Cross, south-east London, did not see or hear from him again.
In September, UKBA was told in an email from the college that Singh was not attending classes and therefore may be in breach of the terms of his visa. Just two months later he hacked Mrs Aulakh to death.
The victim's mother Nardesh Shinh condemned the "evil and inhumane" killers who took her daughter's life. She said: "Geeta was a beautiful, vibrant and kind-hearted daughter who left a lasting impression on all those who met her."