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grandma gets 20-yr jail
A 70-year-old grandmother was jailed for minimum of 20 years
today for the murder of her daughter-in-law whom she blamed
for bringing shame on her family by seeking a divorce.
Athwal wept as she was sentenced at the Old Bailey for the
“honour killing” of her son’s wife, customs officer Surjit
Kaur Athwal (27).
had vowed that a divorce would happen “over my dead body”
because she thought it would disgrace their Sikh family, the
Sukhdave Singh Athwal (43) was also found guilty of murder
and must serve at least 27 years.
Giles Forrester describing the murder as “unspeakable”, said,
“This was a heinous crime characterised by great wickedness.
There was no motive worthy of the name. You did it because
you thought she had brought shame on your family. You decided
that the so-called honour of your family was worth more than
the life of this young woman.”
“vanished off the face of the earth” after she was lured to
a family wedding in India in December 1998.
was raised after she failed to return to her home in Hayes,
believed to be somewhere in the Punjab area in India, has
not been found.
had taken-out life insurance policies on his wife worth up
to 100,000 pounds, knowing that she was going to be killed.
of the wickedness and betrayal there was greed as well,” the
judge added. — Reuters