UK-based NRI husband killed wife with wooden elephant

Last Updated: Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 20:56

London: A 33-year-old Indian shopkeeper has been accused of bludgeoning his British wife to death with an ornamental wooden elephant.

NRI Devendra Singh is accused of killing Charlotte Smith, 42, in a brutal attack on September 3 last year.

Stafford Crown Court was told this week how Singh flew into a rage and battered Smith with the 2-kg wooden object at their home in Ladderedge, Leek, in the West Midlands region of England.
Singh was arrested and charged on Friday and was due to appear before magistrates on Saturday.

"Miss Smith died as a result of sustained and extreme blunt force trauma.
"Many of the blows were delivered with a heavy implement an ornamental elephant which the defendant picked up and used to strike her repeatedly to the face and head," Queen`s Counsel Philip Bennetts said, opening the hearing on Wednesday.

"Bone was smashed and shattered time and time again. The amount of force used was effectively off the scale. It was beyond severe - it was extreme," he added.
Singh admits killing his wife but denies murder on the basis that he suffered a "loss of control".

Following the attack, he is accused of leaving Smith`s body on the lounge floor and leaving the house, taking her mobile phone SIM card with him.

The court heard he cleaned up and threw evidence, including the wooden elephant, over the garden fence into a field before fleeing to London.

Singh is then said to have put Charlotte`s SIM into his own phone and sent text messages to Charlotte`s family and friends - including her father - pretending to be her.

But once her body was found by local police, Singh returned to Leek the same day and handed himself in.
The court heard how Smith had met the Indian man during a holiday with her father in Goa back in 2008.

They began a relationship and got married in Goa in December 2010, following which Singh moved to the UK after obtaining a visa.

Smith had moved him into her Staffordshire home and her family opened a town centre shop for him to run when he could not find work.

But prosecutors say by the relationship was failing as Singh was prone to heavy drinking and aggression.

Some of his former wife`s colleagues gave evidence to the court confirming that she had been considering a divorce in the weeks before her death.


First Published: Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 20:56
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