05:10PM, Thursday 29 April 2021
Jasbinder Singh Gahir
A Maidenhead man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing his ex-wife in a 'cold-blooded murder' in Warwickshire.
Jasbinder Singh Gahir, 58, was convicted of murdering Balvinder Kaur Gahir, 54, in Lillington, Leamington Spa, on Monday, August 24 last year.
A jury at Warwickshire Crown Court found Gahir, of Church Views, Maidenhead, guilty of murder, and his son Rohan Singh Gahir, 23, guilty of perverting the course of justice.
Warwickshire Police were called to a report of a disturbance at a property in Valley Road at 2.40am on the day of the murder.
Upon officers’ arrival, Balvinder - also known as Bally - was discovered unresponsive in her bedroom.
Despite the efforts of police and paramedics, she was pronounced dead at the scene. The cause of death was given as blunt force head injuries.
Balvinder’s ex-husband Gahir was arrested in connection with her death.
Investigations proved he had travelled from Maidenhead with his son Rohan in the early hours of the Monday morning and CCTV captured them parking in Valley Road, close to the property, at about 2.20am.
Each man was seen to leave the vehicle at different times, walk in the direction of the scene before returning to the car.
Then, shortly before 2.30am, 23-year-old Rohan remained in the car while Gahir returned to the house and subjected Balvinder to a sustained attack.
Immediately after the murder, the two men travelled back to Maidenhead and disposed of Jasbinder’s clothes by burning them in a garage near to where they lived.
Rohan Singh Gahir argued he knew nothing of the plan to attack his mother and acted under duress in destroying evidence.
Warwickshire Crown Court heard that during the marriage, Gahir was a controlling and abusive husband, motivated by money. Before their divorce, he put pressure on Balvinder to take out a further mortgage on their home and used the funds to purchase a flat in Slough in his sole name.
Following their divorce, a court order was issued in 2015 requiring Gahir to transfer the deeds of the Valley Road property and make a further financial payment to Balvinder. He failed to comply with the order.
In June 2020, Balvinder re-engaged her solicitors and two letters were sent to Gahir enforcing the order. He ignored the first and the court heard he received the second letter on Saturday, August 22 - the same weekend of her murder.
Gahir claimed his journey to Leamington in the early hours of the morning was a pre-planned trip to collect his daughter, but on arriving at the front door he said he heard raised voices in the property.
Believing another man to be at the address with Balvinder, he left and returned to Maidenhead.
Evidence proved an 'extraordinary web of lies' throughout Gahir’s adult lifetime. He misled family, friends and official organisations that he worked as a commercial pilot and had served in the RAF, when neither were true. He even donned a pilot’s uniform on numerous occasions to reinforce the deception.
The prosecution argued this revealed his capacity for deceit.
Today (Thursday) Gahir was sentenced to life in prison and told he will serve a minimum of 28 years.
Rohan, also of Church Views, was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison.
A 28-year-old man was found not guilty of perverting the course of justice.
Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Caroline Corfield, said: "This was a shocking, cold-blooded murder, motivated by anger and greed.
"Our investigation revealed Jasbinder Gahir to be a manipulative, materialistic man capable of deceiving those closest to him over many years. I have no doubt that Bally’s recent enforcement of the financial order against him was the motivation behind her murder.
“Jasbinder has never shown any remorse for killing Balvinder but he continued to weave a web of lies in the courtroom. The jury have rejected his account and we welcome this verdict.
“I would like to thank everyone who has worked so hard on this case to seek justice for Bally.
“Bally’s family are utterly devastated by her loss but I must pay tribute to the incredible dignity and courage they have shown throughout this investigation and trial. I hope this justice outcome can offer some comfort.”
Paying tribute to Balvinder, her family said in a statement: "She was a remarkable, graceful, intelligent and overall charismatic beautiful lady.
"The light of our lives, a kind and gentle soul, who portrayed nothing but warm love and happiness to all the people she met.
“Her unconditional forgiveness and uncompromising love for her children, her family, friends and everyone she met was unquestionable.
“Our hearts still yearn to see her one more time just to tell her how truly amazing she really was, and how much we love and miss her wholeheartedly.
“You may have been taken away from us, but no one will ever take all the special memories you have left deep in our hearts.
“We feel honoured and blessed to have had you in our lives. Our darling angel wherever you are, we hope you are at peace."
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