Indian gets life in Oz for killing two compatriots

A 22-year-old student from Punjab was today sentenced to life imprisonment by an Australian court for murdering two Indian brothers, who were sharing a flat with him in Perth, over a 310-dollar rental bond dispute.

Last Updated: Oct 01, 2010, 22:39 PM IST

Melbourne: A 22-year-old student from Punjab
was today sentenced to life imprisonment by an Australian
court for murdering two Indian brothers, who were sharing a
flat with him in Perth, over a 310-dollar rental bond dispute.

Jagdeep Singh was sentenced by the Perth Supreme Court
Justice John McKechnie to life in prison with a minimum
20-year term after he pleaded guilty to killing Navdeep Singh
(20) and Kawaldeep Singh (19) on February 11.

The convict, who will be serving the imprisonment on both
murder counts concurrently, will not be eligible for release
until 2030.

Earlier, the court heard how Jagdeep stabbed the two
brothers after getting drunk.

He shared a two-bedroom flat in Morley in Perth`s north
with the brothers and three others, but was asked to move out
as the landlord thought the flat was too crowded. All the
flatmates, who were on student visa, were from Punjab.

Prosecution lawyer Justin Whalley told Justice McKechnie
that Jagdeep, a hospitality course student, wanted 310 dollars
in bond money from Navdeep so he could arrange another flat.
After failing to get it, he went to the flat with a knife
and stabbed both brothers, inflicting deep abdominal wounds
that led to their death.

Navdeep made it to a nearby St John Ambulance depot and
was taken to Royal Perth Hospital for emergency surgery but he
later died.

Jagdeep, who was arrested for the crime, admitted to
police that he had stabbed the brothers.

His lawyer Curt Hofman said that before his client went
to the flat with the knife he had consumed half a bottle of
Canadian Club whisky and that had impaired his judgement.

"It`s probably a key factor, he`s not used to consuming
this substance," he said, adding Jagdeep thought he was being
bullied by Navdeep and needed to regain his respect after
being told it would take at least a week to get the bond money
to him. "It`s fair to say he stewed over this as being an
unjust arrangement."

Hofman said his client was known as a very mild-mannered
man. A psychological report indicated alcohol had helped
trigger Jagdeep to take violent action over his grievance.

Hofman said Singh was from a good middle-class family in
Punjab and had been financed out to Australia to study.

However, Whalley told the court that the parents of the
deceased had sold a house and land to pay for their study in
Australia in the hope they would return to support the family.

What they got was a violent death far from home, he said.
Whalley said life imprisonment with a substantial minimum
term was required to reflect the seriousness of a double
murder.

-PTI