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Killers Chopped Geeta's Hand, Hacked Her To Death, 3 Convicted

PTI 04 Dec 2010, 9:34:28 IST
Geeta Aulakh, a radio station receptionist and a  mother-of-two was brutally hacked to death with a machete on the orders of her jealous husband because she wanted a divorce, it was revealed in a London court.

Geeta was murdered by a teenager and his illegal immigrant accomplice. Such was the ferocity of the attack, the 28-year-old's hand was severed as she tried to defend herself.

Her estranged husband Harpreet Aulakh, 32, offered £5,000 for her to be killed.  Just days before the murder, he was caught on CCTV buying the 14-inch machete for £13.99 in a shop.

Hard-working Geeta, a radio station receptionist, was killed by the two assassins after stepping off a bus and was just minutes away from picking up her two sons, now nine and ten, from their childminder in Greenford, West London.

The man said to have wielded the machete was Aulakh's friend Sher Singh, 19. He flew into the UK from India four months before the murder on a student visa.

The third killer, 30-year-old Jaswant Singh Dhillon, was an illegal immigrant who entered the country in 2002. All three men were found guilty at the Old Bailey yesterday of murdering Geeta on November 16 last year.

Geeta's sister Anita Shinh, 30, sobbed as they were convicted. The jury will continue to deliberate on a fourth defendant, alleged getaway driver Harpreet Singh, today. He denies murder.

Aftab Jafferjee QC, prosecuting, said behind the 'savage and determined' attack was Aulakh's 'chilling' reaction to his wife's desire to leave him.

'Geeta Aulakh was in the process of divorcing him and that would not be tolerated.

'No one else in the world could possibly have wished this utterly innocent and hard-working woman and mother any harm.'

Mr Jafferjee said: ‘Reduced to its bare and brutal essentials this case is about the worthlessness of the life of a woman, be she wife and mother, once she dares to offend a powerfully held belief - however indefensible - of male unaccountability.'

Jobless Aulakh, described by Mr Jafferjee as 'smug and utterly unrepentant', spent his days at home drinking, smoking and playing computer games.

He had thought he was in the clear because he made sure he was captured on CCTV in a pub at the time of the murder.

Indian-born Aulakh ordered the murder after his wife plucked up the courage to ask for a divorce following years of abuse and harassment by him, including hacking into her Facebook account and having her followed.

He was wrongly convinced that she was having an affair with another man.

She told her sister Anita Shinh: 'He is very dangerous.

Aulakh told Miss Shinh he was certain his wife had a boyfriend and vowed: 'I'm going to kill him and I'm going to kill her.'

The court heard he met his future wife at a bus stop in Hounslow when she was still a teenager but her family disapproved of the relationship.

They eloped to Belgium and Holland, getting married and starting a family, before returning to the UK.

A friend of Mrs Aulakh said her husband 'made her feel horrible, that she was ugly and disgusting' and that when he went away in 2009 to spend some months in India 'she had a positive glow.'

In divorce papers, she said he hit her throughout the marriage and even while she was pregnant, once when she took a wrong turn when driving to see a midwife, and at other times slapping her, pulling her hair and hitting her with a toy car.

Miss Shinh said she had tried to convince her to go to the police but that she had been too scared.

Mr Jafferjee said that by the weeks leading up to the murder, Aulakh was subjecting his wife to 'sheer unmitigated harassment'.

On November 16 last year, he arranged for men to lay in wait to kill her and she was hit with what were described as at least four 'rapid and focused' blows to the head that left her with irreversible brain damage.