Murder trial: Man found guilty of murdering his ex-wife at her home in Lillington
Balvinder Gahir, 54, died from serious head injuries after an argument at a house in Valley Road
A man is facing life imprisonment for killing his ex-wife in a brutal attack at her Lillington home in the middle of the night.
Jasbinder Singh Gahir had denied murdering Balvinder Gahir, known to her family and friends as Bally, at the one-time marital home in Valley Road.
But following a trial which began in February, Gahir (58) of Church View, Maidenhead, was found guilty by a jury at Coventry Crown Court – and will be sentenced on Thursday.
His son Rohan Singh Gahir (23) of the same address, who had driven him to Leamington on the night of the killing, was found not guilty of being involved in the murder.
But Rohan was convicted of perverting the course of justice, for which he will be sentenced alongside his father.
Bally’s lodger at the time Takudzwa Manduna (28) and a 16-year-old girl also stood trial on a charge of perverting the course of justice.
Manduna, now of Darwin Way, Erith, Kent, was found not guilty, but the jury was unable to reach a verdict in respect of the girl – and Judge Andrew Lockhart QC gave the prosecution seven days to decide whether they want her to face a retrial.
During the trial prosecutor Philip Bradley QC told the jury: “On the evening of Sunday the 23rd of August Balvinder Gahir, known to her family and friends as Bally, went to bed.
“At 2.21 and 20 seconds the next morning CCTV captured a BMW parking within 100 metres of her home. That car was driven by her son Rohan Singh Gahir.
“Its front seat passenger was his father and Bally’s ex-husband Jasbinder Singh Gahir.”
Jasbinder left the car at just before 2.30 and returned eight minutes and 55 seconds later. “Where did he go, and what did he do for just short of nine minutes?” posed Mr Bradley.
“The prosecution case is that Jasbinder entered 278 Valley Road unannounced and walked upstairs to Bally’s bedroom.
“Once there he subjected her to a sustained and frenzied attack, repeatedly striking her head and body so that when the emergency services arrived she was in a pool of her own blood."
Mr Bradley said Jasbinder, an ‘overbearing, manipulative and motivated’ man, was ‘directly responsible’ for killing Bally, who he had married in 1990.
They had briefly emigrated to New Zealand where she fell pregnant with their oldest sons, twins who were born in 1995 after they returned to the UK, with Rohan being born two years later.
The house in Valley Road was in their joint names, but the marriage, in which Jasbinder became very controlling, ran into difficulties.
Jasbinder, who worked in information technology, spent a lot of time away and held himself out as a Monarch Airways pilot and ex RAF serviceman – neither of which were true.
In 2008 the house was remortgaged to pay for an extension but Jasbinder then bought a property in his sole name in Station Road, Slough, which he rented out.
After Jasbinder had moved out Bally ended up in financial difficulty, and a County Court judge ordered that she would be responsible for the mortgage but that Jasbinder was to transfer his interest in the property to her and to pay her £30,000 – in default of which the Slough property would have to be sold.
In the months and years that followed, Jasbinder did not pay the money, but Bally ‘resisted pulling the trigger and enforcing the court order.’
What was to happen to the house in Valley Road became ‘a hot family topic,’ and pressure was put on Bally to sign an agreement that it should be sold and for Jasbinder to have a share of the proceeds – but she then changed her mind.
And Mr Bradley suggested it was the dispute over the property which was behind the killing.
Giving evidence, Jasbinder had denied the killing and claimed he and Bally ‘still loved one-another’ and that there had been ‘talk about remarriage’ – but the jury rejected his account.