Triple zero call made just before Parwinder Kaur emerged from home on fire, trial hears


August 12, 2019 19:26:07

A court has heard a Sydney woman told a triple zero operator her husband had nearly killed her moments before she emerged from her house with her body on fire.

Key points:

  • Kulwinder Singh is facing trial in the NSW Supreme Court over the 2013 death of his wife
  • Parwinder Kaur was seen with her body on fire in her driveway by a neighbour
  • Ms Kaur died in Royal North Shore Hospital the next day

Kulwinder Singh, 41, has pleaded not guilty to murder and is facing trial in the NSW Supreme Court over the December 2013 death of his wife, Parwinder Kaur, in Rouse Hill.

On the opening day of the trial, the court was played a triple zero call Ms Singh made on the afternoon of December 2 that year in which she sounded upset and spoke in a soft voice.

“My husband nearly killed me,” she said.

When the operator asked what happened, the call was terminated.

Prosecutor Chris Maxwell QC told jurors a neighbour will give evidence of the “piercing scream” she heard minutes later.

“She quickly turned and looked through her window and saw Ms Parwinder Kaur moving down her driveway with her body completely on fire,” he said.

“Her husband Mr Kulwinder Singh was quite close to her.”

Mr Maxwell said forensic testing revealed the fire was propelled by petrol.

He said the 44-second call was a “desperate cry for help” from Ms Kaur.

Ms Kaur, aged 32, died in Royal North Shore Hospital the following day.

The court heard the only fingerprints found on a petrol can and a cigarette lighter found in the home’s laundry were those of Ms Kaur.

Mr Singh’s barrister, Margaret Cunneen SC, said her client denied he was in any way responsible for causing her death, including any actions that may have persuaded her to set herself alight.

Ms Cunneen said it was the defence case that Ms Kaur set herself alight “not necessarily to kill herself, but for her own reasons … perhaps hopefully to be rescued”.

She said Mr Singh was upstairs when he heard a “dreadful scream” and ran down to see his wife already out of the house.

Mr Singh was arrested in November, 2017, after what police said had been a painstaking process of analysing the evidence.

Mr Maxwell said the Crown case was that Mr Singh was responsible for Ms Kaur’s death, either because he lit her on fire or because she caused herself to light herself on fire out of fear.

The jury heard the death took place in the context of an abusive relationship and Mr Singh was in complete control of her wages.

Mr Maxwell said close relatives had given Ms Kaur their blessing to leave Mr Singh before her death.

The trial is expected to last six to eight weeks.






First posted

August 12, 2019 16:12:25

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