Canadian court hears tape of Punjab man killing stepsons

A chilling tape that a Punjab man made of himself murdering his two stepsons and nearly beheading his wife on Father`s Day in June last year was heard by a court here Friday.

Last Updated: Sep 11, 2010, 13:44 PM IST

Vancouver: A chilling tape that a Punjab man made of himself murdering his two stepsons and nearly beheading his wife on Father`s Day in June last year was heard by a court here Friday.

The tape, which starts recording the violent event about 46 minutes before the actual murders took place June 21, 2009, was so shocking that some people had to leave the courtroom at New Westminster Supreme Court on the outskirts of Vancouver.

Sixty-eight-year-old Mahendra Singh has already pleaded guilty to murder charges for shooting deaths of his stepsons Ranjit Gill, 15, and Amarjit Gill, 17, and attempted beheading of his 38-year-old wife Sukhwinder.

In the tape, which was played at the sentencing hearing Friday, the murderer begins by listing his grievances against his wife.

"This lady, she gave me such a hard time, a hard time," Singh is heard saying in English at the very beginning of the tape.

The woman had married Singh five years ago after she became a widow, and she and her two sons moved in with Singh in 2008.

But their relationship turned sour soon. The woman was reportedly planning to move out with her sons when Singh killed the boys and left her almost dead.

In the disturbing tape, played in New Westminster Supreme Court, 15-year-old Ranjit Gill is heard crying out to his mother before he is shot dead by his stepfather.

Before the crime, Singh is heard making some remarks in Punjabi and walking around the house for some time.

Then he is heard pulling the trigger and shooting dead his sleeping elder stepson Amarjit Gill.

Next, screams and cries for help are heard as the man rushes into the bedroom of his younger stepson Ranjit and shoots him too even as the boy cries out: "Mommy, mommy."

After killing his two stepsons, Singh is heard turning on his wife, with the butt of his rifle hitting her on the head while the woman pleads with him to spare her life.

The beating lasts about 20 to 25 minutes. After she falls unconscious, the man is heard saying in English, "That`s it."

Then it is all quiet for some time, with only Singh`s heavy breathing being audible on the tape. The lull is broken as his battered wife starts sobbing and moaning.

After beating her unconscious, prosecution lawyer Don Wilson said, Singh called 911 (police). And then he again turned to his wife and tried to slit her throat with a knife.

Shockingly, the murderer could be seen smiling and laughing Friday when the prosecution lawyer narrated the difficulties in their marriage.

Sukhwinder was not in the court, but the defence lawyer played an 11-minute video of her impact statement.

"They (the sons) were my entire life...my whole reason for living has been snatched away...Instead of the family growing, I am reduced to a lone person," she sobbed in her victim impact statement.

She showed deep scars of beating on head and arm, adding that she cannot eat solid food as it gets stuck in her throat because of the slitting she suffered.

Singh faces life behind bars, with no possibility of parole for 20 years.

IANS