THE TRIAL of a man accused of helping to murder Geeta Aulakh on the orders of her husband has got under way at the Old Bailey.
Harpreet Singh almost tricked police into thinking he was just an innocent witness, the court heard. The 21-year-old is said to have driven the killers to the scene of the attack on the 28 year-old mother-of- two in November 2009.
The victim, a Sunrise Radio receptionist, was hacked to death with a machete as she walked to collect her two children from a childminder.
Her right hand was chopped off as she desperately tried to protect herself in Braund Avenue, Greenford.
Jurors at the Old Bailey were told that her 32 year-old husband Harpreet Aulakh, who she was attempting to divorce, has been convicted of murder.
Singh gave a statement to police after the killing admitting he was at the scene of the attack but had no idea what was going to take place. He claimed he had gone along on a drive because he had been given a “promise of a job”.
But prosecutor Aftab Jafferjee QC said: “An essential part of his defence that he was nothing to do with the murder was to pretend as he did that he barely knew who Harpreet Aulakh was. He said he had no communication with him whatsoever. But as the months unfolded damning evidence was to emerge of substantial phone contact between him and the husband not only in the days leading up to the murder but in the hours leading up to the murder.
“The police were plainly beguiled by this man and for quite some time. Had it continued it would have been a travesty of justice.”
Jurors heard that Geeta and her husband began their relationship when she was about 18 but she later confided he had been beating her.
About four years before the murder Aulakh is alleged to have said: “I will never leave my children. I will kill her and take my kids to India.”
He also became convinced she was having an affair and told her “If I can't have you no-one can.” She signed a divorce petition two months before her death and wrote on her Facebook page: “I have never hated anyone in my life but you.”
Harpreet Singh, formerly of Slough, Berkshire, denies a single count of murder.
Harpreet Aulakh, of Chesterton Close, Greenford, was convicted of murder in November.
The trial continues.