A MAN who battered his ex-wife to death as she lay in bed in her Leamington home has been jailed for life.
Jasbinder Gahir will be at least 86-years-old before the Parole Board will even consider his release after a judge ordered him to serve a minimum of 28 years.
Judge Andrew Lockhart QC said the murder of Balvinder Gahir, known as Bally to friends and family, denied by the defendant, of Church View, Maidenhead, had been motivated by ‘naked greed and financial gain.’
Their youngest son, Rohan Gahir (23) of the same address, was jailed for three-and-a-half years after being cleared of being involved in the killing but found guilty of perverting the course of justice after driving his father from the scene.
Prosecutor Philip Bradley QC told the jury a BMW driven by her son Rohan Singh Gahir, with his father in the front passenger seat, arrived at the home in the early hours of the morning. During the nine minutes Gahir was away from the car, Mr Bradley said the 58-year-old had attacked Bally, striking her head and body, leaving her in a pool of her own blood. Medics battled to save her but Bally was pronounced dead at the scene.
Gahir, described as an ‘overbearing and manipulative man’, posed as an airline pilot, and used money from remortgaging their home in Lillington, to buy a flat in his sole name in Slough.
After he left the family home, Bally was in financial difficulty, and a judge ordered him to transfer his interest in the property to her and pay her £30,000 – which he failed to do.
What was to happen to the house became ‘a hot family topic,’ and pressure was put on Bally to sign an agreement for it to be sold and for Jasbinder to have a share of the proceeds – but she changed her mind.
And Mr Bradley said it was the dispute over the property which was behind the brutal killing – after which Gahir was driven away by Rohan who helped to cover up by burning clothing and a mat from the car.
Jailing Gahir, Judge Andrew Lockhart QC said Gahir had bullied, belittled and defrauded Bally for 11 years.
He explained Gahir planned to get Bally to give up what she was entitled to, portraying her as greedy, but she saw through him and resisted.
“This was the nemesis for this terrible attack. For you, steeped in greed as you were, this was a disaster which had to be stopped – and the method was to be murder.
“Your clear wish, which became a plan, was that she would be killed and break-in and burglars would be blamed. Revenge and, most importantly, naked greed and financial gain was the motive.
“You took with you a heavy bar. This was to be the murder weapon. You had Rohan drive you to the area, and you went forward with that heavy bar to attack Bally as she lay in bed.
“You Rohan waited in the car and were ready to drive off as soon as he returned. I must be faithful to the jury’s verdict that you did not know your father was going to attack your mother.”
He went on to describe the attack, which resulted in 17 injuries, before Gahir was ‘whisked away’ by Rohan.
Referring to Rohan he said: “What had happened in that house was plain to you by the time he returned to the car. You must have seen your father bring back and secrete that weapon.
“By the time you got back to Maidenhead you knew your mother had been battered to death by your father. You chose to side with your father as he sought to clear up evidence of murder.
“What is so very incomprehensible to any human being with an ounce of decency is that you did this to cover up the murder of your own mother, a woman you professed to love. How you will live with that is a matter I cannot help you with.
“Jasbinder Gahir, this was a murder done for gain. You intended you would take the financial advantage from this in some form or another.
“You have not one jot of remorse for this terrible crime. This was an offence of extraordinary savagery and brutality.”
Judge Lockhart told Rohan Gahir the trial might have been avoided if the blood of his mother had been found on Gahir’s clothes.
Addressing Bally’s family, he told them: “My hope is you will emerge at some point from this dark period. I think she would want you all to be strong and to remember her with joy and be grateful for having known her.”
He added that there should be public commendations for police officers involved in the case at the scene and during the investigation.