'Save me': NSW Court hears Parwinder Kaur's final words to her husband

Kulwinder Singh doused his wife in petrol and set her on fire after she decided to divorce him, a Sydney jury has been told.

10/10/2019 10:29:00 AM

Kulwinder Singh doused his wife in petrol and set her on fire after she decided to divorce him, a Sydney jury has been told.

Kulwinder Singh doused his wife in petrol and set her on fire after she decided to divorce him, a Sydney jury has been told.

Share on TwitterOn the day she died, Parwinder Kaur had a disagreement with her husband about money and one of them said they would leave the other.What happened next only the two of them would know, but it ended in her being doused in petrol and set on fire.

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Kulwinder Singh, 41, has pleaded not guilty in the NSW Supreme Court to murdering his 32-year-old wife in a blaze that burnt 90 per cent of her body in December 2013.Parwinder Kaur.SBS NewsHe says his wife"did it to herself" while he was upstairs in the bedroom of their Rouse Hill home.

In a trial that has run for almost two months, the jury has been told different versions of the moments leading up to Ms Kaur's death - highlighted in the closing addresses of the defence and the prosecution on Thursday.Singh's barrister, Margaret Cunneen SC, said Ms Kaur set herself on fire in a"cry for attention" and never meant to seriously harm herself.

She said the pair argued after Ms Kaur refused to contribute to their costs, due to her financial support of her own family.READ MOREAs a result, Singh told her he was leaving and went upstairs to pack, something that had never happened before in their relationship.

Ms Cunneen says what happened next was a"tragic accident"."This was an act of some desperation. An act of seeking some sort of attention because she was being pulled in all directions," she told the jury.Before she was set on fire, the jury heard Ms Kaur had called the police and told them"my husband nearly killed me".

READ MORESydney man denies fire-murder of wifeMs Cunneen argued she did this to ensure help was on its way before slowly and methodically pouring the petrol on herself, waiting eight to 10 minutes and then setting herself on fire.However, she underestimated the powerful combination of her knitted cardigan and the petrol, which caused her to"burn and burn and burn".

Ms Cunneen said Ms Kaur had been desperately trying to stop her husband from leaving, saying she turned to him in their final moments together."She said to him 'save me Vinder'," she said."The love was at the fore. The love was there."

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READ MOREMs Cunneen said the evidence showed there was no petrol on Singh's clothes or shoes, no fingerprints of his on the petrol can and"nothing to suggest a fight to the death between these people".However, crown prosecutor Chris Maxwell QC painted a very different version of Ms Kaur's final moments.

He said the jury could be satisfied of one thing beyond a reasonable doubt -"that Mr Singh set fire to his wife".He said it was Ms Kaur who decided to divorce her husband and the financial disagreement came after she refused to have her pay go into her husband's account.

"On the day of her death there was only $95.36 left in Mr Singh's bank account," he said."What we have is a situation quite different to what Kulwinder Singh has encountered before. It is his wife saying to him ... 'I'm not going to contribute anymore' and ... 'I'm going to live my life without you'."

Mr Maxwell argued Ms Kaur's state of mind was"absolutely inconsistent" with her wanting to harm herself.He reminded the jury of the expert evidence of burns specialist Professor Peter Maitz, who testified that as there were no burns to Ms Kaur's scalp and upper face, it would be very unusual if her burns were self-inflicted.

In Prof Maitz's opinion, it was more likely the accelerant was poured or thrown over her by someone else.The trial continues on Friday. Read more: SBS News »

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