Murdered wife depressed husband did not want children with her, jury told
Building boss Gurpreet Singh is accused of murdering his second wife, and soliciting the killing of a previous spouse.
The wife of a wealthy businessman accused of her murder told a GP a month before her death of being “depressed” because he did not want children with her, a court heard.
Gurpreet Singh is accused of killing seamstress Sarbjit Kaur at their detached Wolverhampton home in 2018 and of offering to pay a man £20,000 to murder a previous wife, who died in 2014.
The 43-year-old civil engineering company director has denied any wrongdoing.
Giving evidence for the first time in his trial on Friday, Singh told jurors he loved his spouse and would “never ever” think of killing her.
A month before she died, a Birmingham Crown Court jury heard how Sarbjit went alone to her GP, “tearful”, “depressed” and with thoughts of hanging herself.
The GP’s note, summarised by Singh’s barrister Orlando Pownall QC, stated: “Depressed for six months, tearful, doesn’t want to go out, feels lonely.
“It stems from husband not wanting children with her.
“He won’t change his mind.
“(She) has thoughts of committing suicide, has not harmed herself.
“Doesn’t want counselling as feels it is just her and her husband’s business.”
On a second visit to the doctor shortly afterwards, Sarbjit told the GP she “wants her own children”.
“She does not know what would make her happy, thinks of harming herself, hanging herself, but would not do it,” the note continued.
“Assures me she has no plans – not actively suicidal.”
No, she never talked about that. Gurpreet Singh
Singh said she never mentioned being depressed, adding she was sometimes “tired because of her business”.
When Mr Pownall asked if his wife ever told him she was “desperate” to have children, he replied: “No, she never talked about that.”
Singh denies murdering Sarbjit with the help of an “unknown accomplice” and has rejected having any involvement in the death of his first wife, Amandeep Kaur.
Singh became upset when describing how, on a family trip to India in December 2014, Amandeep became ill and died.
Her death certificate concluded she died of a brain haemorrhage in Punjab, India, in 2014.
Jurors previously heard evidence from a man called Heera Singh Uppal, who claimed he used to work for the company boss.
He alleged Singh offered to pay him to kill Amandeep but pulled out of the scheme.
Mr Pownall asked: “Did you ever speak to him about killing your wife?”
Singh replied: “No, sir.”
He also claimed never to have knowingly employed a man on his books by Mr Uppal’s name.
After the funeral of his first wife, Singh returned home to Rookery Lane, in Wolverhampton.
He told the court that it was a few months later, in April 2015, he first met his future wife Sarbjit.
By July 2015, the couple were married and she was moving in, Singh told the court.
Singh said there were tensions with his first wife’s family who disagreed with his decision to re-marry.
In October 2016, he was told by police of a poison pen letter sent to his family, describing his new wife Sarbjit as an “evil step mum” who was “having an affair behind your back”.
The anonymous letter also alleged Sarbjit had a secret “boyfriend”.
He suspected the letter had been sent by “my first wife’s family” but did not take the matter further.
Prosecutors have alleged that Singh and a “mystery” accomplice killed Sarbjit, before ransacking parts of the home to make it “look like a burglary gone wrong”.
CCTV evidence has showed a figure, wearing a Parka-type coat and carrying a Sports Direct bag, at the front gate of the family home the morning of the murder.
Singh claimed scratches on his hands, seen on police officers’ body-worn video cameras, had been caused by handling “timbers” at work.
Opening the case, David Mason QC said: “This was not a burglary, during which Sarbjit lost her life.”
He added: “What we say has happened here may be blindingly obvious to you all ladies and gentlemen, but after Mr Singh has got back from the school run he had already planned to kill Sarbjit.
“He had obviously recruited someone else to help him.
“Whether it was a colleague, hired help, mistress, perhaps we will never know.”
The trial continues.