NRI man sentenced to life for murdering his wife

London:  A 32-year-old Indian-origin man was on Saturday jailed for life for masterminding the "cold-blooded" murder of his estranged wife, who was hacked to death with a machete on the streets of London in 2009.

Harpreet Aulakh was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum tariff of 28 years at the Old Bailey Court for masterminding the murder of his wife Geeta Aulakh, 28, who had left him and was seeking a divorce.

Two other men, 19-year old Sher Singh, who came to the UK on a student visa and Jaswant Singh Dhillon, also known as Taljit Singh, who acted as look-out during the ambush, were were also convicted of murder.

Both men were jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum of 22 years.

The court was told that Aulakh had ordered the murder after being wrongly convinced that she was having an affair with another man.

Geeta, the mother of two, who worked as a receptionist at the local Sunrise Radio, was ambushed and had her hand severed with a machete during the attack in Greenford, northwest London, in 2009.

She was attacked on a street corner with a 14-inch machete and suffered appalling injuries to her head and body.

Aulakh had denied the murder saying he had been at a pub in Heston, where he made sure he was seen on CCTV, at the time of the attack.

But his "act of cunning" backfired as telephone records showed aulakh calling his accomplices in Braund Avenue, Greenford, minutes before and after the attack, the court heard.

According to a report in 'The Daily Telegraph', 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."

"His reason for wanting Geeta dead was that she had made it clear to him that she was determined to divorce him and he was not prepared to accept that and he was prepared to kill her to prevent it happening. The family has lost a sister and daughter but most importantly the two children have lost a mother," he said.

Court heard he had carefully planned the killing, at one point offering a group of friends 5,000 pounds to "do a job" for him.

The UK Border Agency said Sher Singh would be considered for deportation after he had completed his sentence.

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