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Husband guilty of murdering Sunrise radio receptionist

03/12/2010

"The murder of Geeta Aulakh by her husband was a vindictive and despicable crime," said Moya Reed, senior lawyer for the Crown Prosecution Service in London, after Harpreet Aulakh was sentenced to a minimum of 28 years imprisonment today at the Old Bailey for the murder of his wife.

Mrs Reed said: "Geeta Aulakh was a loving and caring mother who was brutally killed because she wanted a divorce from her estranged husband, Harpreet Aulakh. Her colleagues described how she lived in fear, even after the couple separated, and that her work as a receptionist for Sunrise Radio was her only escape.

 "Geeta Aulakh met her death in November last year while she was on her way to pick up her children, but she never got to collect them. They will now have to grow up without their mother or father, who has been convicted of her murder.

"Aulakh coldly and meticulously commissioned his wifes murder and offered £5,000 for its execution. The jury heard from a neighbour who recalled the defendant saying that his wife would never leave him and added that he would kill her, bury her and take the kids to India.

"The prosecution showed it was clear that Aulakh could not tolerate a divorce. 'You know me, I dont do nothing myself, I get other people to do it', is what he said to the neighbour in the weeks leading up to the murder.

"True to his word, he got other people to carry out this brutal murder and so it was right for these men to be charged with murder as well. The prosecution did not need to prove which of these men delivered the fatal blows as each defendant lent himself to the same criminal objective - a mission to kill.

"Evidence showed that her husband masterminded this execution and took great care in establishing an alibi. He went to a pub where he was not a regular, but which had CCTV. This was no coincidence it was Aulakh setting up his alibi.

"He thought, wrongly, that the prosecution would not have sufficient evidence to charge him because he did not physically kill her. However, the jury today was satisfied that Geeta Aulakh would still be alive if he had not ordered her murder.

"This is a horrific case of domestic violence, where an arrogant, jealous and manipulative husband killed his wife simply because he would not accept that she wanted to divorce him.

"The CPS will continue to work very closely with the police to prosecute cases of domestic violence and encourage anyone who has been a victim to report it to the police."

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  2. Harpreet Aulakh 1.5.1978; Sher Singh 13.7.1991; Harpreet Singh 12.1.1990; and Jaswinder Dhillon 15.4.1980 were all charged with the murder of Geeta Aulakh.
  3. Harpreet Aulakh, Sher Singh and Jaswinder Dhillon were found guilty on 2 December at the Old Bailey. Singh and Dhillon were both sentenced to 22 years imprisonment today. The jury could not reach a verdict on Harpreet Singh and a retrial will take place at a later date.
  4. The DPP has set out what the public can expect from the CPS in the Core Quality Standards document published in March 2010. It can be seen at http://www.cps.gov.uk/publications/core_quality_standards/index.html
  5. The CPS consists of 42 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). These are organised into 12 Groups, plus CPS London, each overseen by Group Chair, a senior CCP. In addition there are four specialised national divisions: Central Fraud Group, Counter-Terrorism, Organised Crime and Special Crime. A telephone service, CPS Direct, provides out-of-hours advice and decisions to police officers across England and Wales.
  6. The CPS employs around 8,316 people and prosecuted 982,731 cases with a conviction rate of 86.8% in the magistrates courts and 80.7% in the Crown Court in 2009-20010. Further information can be found on our website: www.cps.gov.uk 
  7. The CPS, together with ACPO and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media.  This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests.  The Protocol is published on our website at: http://www.cps.gov.uk/publications/agencies/mediaprotocol.html