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Punjabi husband allegedly ordered wife's execution for wanting divorce

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Four men are on trial for murder at the Old Bailey this week charged with hacking to death a Punjabi woman who wished to divorce her husband.

The prosecution allege Harpreet Aulakh, 32, of Greenford, west London, offered £5,000 to "a room full of Punjabi men" to kill his wife Geeta.

After 19-year-old Sher Singh, of Southall, Harpreet Singh, 20, of Slough, and 30-year-old Jaswant Dhillon, of Ilford, east London, accepted the offer, the prosecution allege Mr Aulakh gave detailed instructions on where and when to execute his wife.

Ms Aulakh, who worked as a receptionist for Sunrise Radio, was found dying in the street last November yards outside the home of her childminder, where her two young sons were being cared for.

Aftab Jafferjee QC, prosecuting, said: "They knew exactly where to wait and when to be there. There were three of them, albeit only one would hack her to death.

"So savage and determined was the mission to kill her that, when she sought to protect her head, her right hand was completely severed from her arm.

"The man who organised this murder was none other than her own husband. He planned it. The other three defendants executed it."

Jafferjee said the motive for the killing was simple. "Geeta Aulakh was in the process of divorcing him, and that would not be tolerated.

"No one else in the world could possibly have wished this utterly innocent and hard-working woman and mother any harm."

All four defendants deny the charges. Harpreet Aulakh has accepted that there were "problems" in his marriage, but that he and his wife had been in the process of working things out before the killing.

The trial continues.

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