Husband ‘beat wife with shoe’ months before setting her on fire
MONTHS before a Sydney man allegedly torched his wife to death he beat her with his own shoe in front of her family, a Sydney court heard.
Kulwinder Singh has pleaded not guilty to murdering Parwinder Kaur at their Rouse Hill home in December 2013, saying she set herself on fire.
Ms Kaur's sister was thousands of miles away in India when she received a chilling phone call from the mushroom packer's husband during an alleged domestic violence incident before she died, Singh's Supreme Court trial heard.
Gurvinder Kaur cried while testifying that Singh declared he'd just assaulted her sister in front of their family.
"He used the shoes to beat her up, and threw her out of the house," Gurvinder said through a Punjabi interpreter.
"My brother said: 'you can't do this to my sister'."
Through tears, Gurvinder said Singh then turned on her relatives who witnessed the ordeal, shouting: "I will get rid of all of you from Australia."
"My dad saw all this and he was very upset, the whole family was very upset. Parwinder was crying," Gurvinder said on Wednesday.
Parwinder moved to Australia in 2006 from India's Punjab state after marrying Singh a year earlier, but the first time her sister visited Sydney was for the 32-year-old's funeral.
Gurvinder earlier testified that in January 2013 the railway worker called his family in front of Parwinder and said he would "get her killed" before leaving for his night shift.
"Parwinder was very scared after that. She was alone at night," Gurvinder said.
A few months before neighbours saw Ms Kaur engulfed in a giant fire ball on their northwestern Sydney driveway, Singh came to her family's home in India making threats, the jury heard.
Gurvinder said after Singh verbally abused her family and threatened Parwinder's safety while visiting from Sydney, her parents gave their blessing for a divorce and urged her to tell police.
"Approximately one week before she died, did your father tell Parwinder: 'leave this man'?" prosecutor Chris Maxwell QC asked.
"Yes," Gurvinder said.
"She said to me: 'I've made my decision and I'm going to get my divorce'."
Just 12 minutes before witnesses saw Parwinder alight, she phoned triple-zero saying "my husband nearly kill me".
The Crown says that desperate cry for help capped an abusive eight-year relationship which prompted the wife to end the marriage and refuse to give Singh all her income anymore.
All of Parwinder's wages went into a bank account in her husband's name and Singh paid Ms Kaur a $50 weekly allowance, her colleague has previously testified.
One week before she died, Parwinder asked her sister whether she should leave Singh or "give him one more chance", the court heard.
"And I said: 'eight years is a lot'," Gurvinder said.
The trial continues before Justice Natalie Adams.