London: An Indian-origin UK man on trial for killing his ex-wife and then stuffing her body into a suitcase was today sentenced to a minimum of 18 years in jail for murder.
Ashwin Daudia had denied the murder charge, claiming he lost his temper during an argument with Kiran Daudia at their home in Leicester last January and did not attack her deliberately. But the jury did not accept his version of events and found him guilty of killing the 46-year-old call centre worker.
The 51-year-old accused was caught on CCTV dragging his ex-wife's body in a suitcase before dumping it in an alleyway. "I was angry, I lost control," he told the Leicester Crown Court, adding that Kiran Daudia had initially assaulted him and to silence her he put his hand over her mouth and then forcefully squeezed her neck.
He admitted he then lied to his two sons, relatives, and the police by falsely claiming his ex-wife did not return home from a morning shift at a call centre and hid the body in the suitcase to prevent his younger son from seeing it.
The couple, who had an arranged marriage in India in 1988, were divorced in 2014 but had continued living separate lives under the same roof.
The factory worker husband was to move out of the family home on January 16, 2017, when the attack occurred, the Leicester Mercury reported.
Kiran's body was discovered in the suitcase by police the next day.
Her sister had bought the couple's family home in Leicester to enable the victim to continue living there without her ex-husband after the divorce.
Their two sons chose to "side" with their mother and had relatively little to do with their father.
During the two-week murder trial which concluded on Friday, Ashwin Daudia claimed he lost his temper when his ex-wife shouted at him because he had not packed his bags or moved out.
He claimed she swore at him and told him to go and die in India.
He denied the prosecution's suggestion that he had waited for his ex-wife to return home from work to deliberately kill her.
"I didn't do it deliberately, at that time my mind wasn't working," he told the court.
The prosecution claimed that Daudia, who followed the court proceedings through a Gujarati interpreter, had continued to lie about the circumstances surrounding the killing and had committed the murder after growing increasingly resentful of his ex-wife, who had joined a dating agency to meet other men.