Harpreet Singh sentenced to life in prison
A fourth man has been found guilty today of his involvement in the murder of Geeta Aulakh, in Greenford in 2009.
The jury returned its verdict following a re-trial at the Old Bailey.
Harpreet Singh, 21, of Elmwood Road, Slough was sentenced to life in prison, to serve a minimum of 22 years.
Detective Chief Inspector Howard Groves of the Homicide and Serious Crime Command, said:
"Harpreet Singh allowed himself to be involved in a vicious plot to kill an innocent young mother whose husband no longer wanted her alive. Her family, continue to try and come to terms with the loss of a much loved woman who was trying to divorce her husband for a better life.
"Geeta's family have been put through the pain of a second trial and
witnesses have had to give evidence for a second time and I thank them
for their determination to ensure that those responsible for Geeta's
death did not get away with it. By working with the communities affected
by so-called "honour killings" we can clearly demonstrate that offenders
will be brought to justice."
The court heard that police were called at approximately 19:00hrs on 16
November 2009 to reports of a woman seriously injured in Braund Avenue,
at the junction of Verulam Road, Greenford.
On arrival police discovered a woman in the street, suffering from a
head injury and a severed right hand.
Geeta Aulakh, 28, of Greenford was taken by ambulance to Charing Cross
Hospital where she was pronounced dead at 23:19hrs.
A post-mortem gave cause of death as severe head injury caused by a
heavy chopping instrument such as a machete. It was also concluded that
the injury to her hand was most likely as a result of Geeta trying to
defend herself during the attack.
Enquiries quickly established that Geeta had left work in Southall,
where she was a receptionist at Sunrise Radio, and caught the number 105
bus at approximately 18.25hrs. She was on her way to pick up her
children, two boys aged seven and eight, from the childminder's house
and was walking towards the address when she was attacked.
It was known that Geeta had been involved in a very unhappy marriage
since 2001 and had recently started divorce proceedings. Her husband was
arrested, questioned and bailed pending further enquiries on 17
Later the same day, Jaswant Singh Dhillon walked into Southall police
station and claimed to have information regarding Geeta's death. He told
detectives that he had gone with Sher SINGH to see someone in Greenford
but did not know what it was for. When they got to Greenford, Singh had
accosted Geeta and killed her. Dhillon said they had been driven to the
scene by someone he did not know and told officers where Singh's clothes
and the murder weapon could be found.
A jacket and a machete were subsequently recovered from the Grand Union
Canal in Slough. A pair of trainers was retrieved from the side of the
M4 near the junction to the M25.
Sher Singh was charged with Geeta's murder on 23 November as a result of
DNA evidence and Geeta's husband, Harpreet Aulakh, was charged in
In April 2010, Harpreet Singh was arrested as a result of mobile phone
contact to both Jaswant Singh Dhillon and Harpreet Aulakh prior to, and
on the day of, the murder. He was later identified by Dhillon as being
the unnamed driver of the car and charged.
Enquiries also revealed that Harpreet Singh had once lived in Rochfords
Gardens, close to where the weapon and jacket were found and had good
knowledge of the area where they were dumped.
Singh was later charged with murder and first appeared at the Old Bailey
for trial with the three other defendants on Monday, 18 October. The
jury returned guilty verdicts for Geeta's former husband Harpreet Singh Aulakh, 32,
Sher Singh, 19, and Jaswant Singh Dhillon, 31, on 2
They were unable to return a verdict on Harpreet Singh and he was
committed for re-trial as above.
A statement released on behalf of Geeta's family said,
"Today justice has prevailed after the fourth man has been found guilty
of Geeta's Murder. This evil man was the get-away driver yet he thought
he could portray himself as a young shy boy, and lie his way out of the
truth, to fool the jury.
"Once again we would like to thank the investigation team and legal team
for their hard work and professionalism during this whole episode in our
lives, as well as our friends, family and the local community for all
15 April 2011