Kulwinder Singh arrives at the King Street Courts in Sydney. Picture: AAP/Peter Rae
Kulwinder Singh arrives at the King Street Courts in Sydney. Picture: AAP/Peter Rae

Man claimed ‘prerogative to hit wife’

WARNING: Distressing content

A man accused of murdering his wife by setting her on fire said it was his prerogative to hit her if he wanted, a Sydney jury has been told.

Kulwinder Singh, 41, has pleaded not guilty in the NSW Supreme Court to murdering Parwinder Kaur, 32, on December 2, 2013, at their Rouse Hill home.

Her brother, Sukhvinder Singh, on Monday told the jury of an occasion in 2012 when she and her husband were arguing about her wanting to put some of her pay in her own bank account.

 

Parwinder Kaur pictured with her husband Kulwinder Singh. Parwinder died after suffering burns to most of her body at her house in Rouse Hill. Picture: Supplied
Parwinder Kaur pictured with her husband Kulwinder Singh. Parwinder died after suffering burns to most of her body at her house in Rouse Hill. Picture: Supplied

 

They both stood up and his brother-in-law raised his hand and was about to assault her, he said.

"I said: 'No, you cannot do this. This is my house'," Mr Singh said. But his brother-in-law replied, "No, you can't interfere", saying it was "his prerogative if he wanted to hit her or do whatever he wanted to her".

Mr Singh said he opened the door and told his brother-in-law to leave. "He said to me: 'I will fix you up and get you thrown out of Australia'."

Mr Singh said that in June 2011 his sister told him her husband had bashed her and thrown her out of their house, saying "he hit me with a shoe in my belly".

His sister had stayed over his place five or six times after she and her husband had argued, he said.

 

Kulwinder Singh arrives at the King Street Courts in Sydney. Picture: AAP/Peter Rae
Kulwinder Singh arrives at the King Street Courts in Sydney. Picture: AAP/Peter Rae

 

The petrol-fuelled blaze that killed Ms Kaur caused burns to 90 per cent of her body.

The Crown alleges Singh was responsible for her death, while he told police "she did it to herself" when he was upstairs in their bedroom.

Sukhvinder Singh broke down as he told the jury his sister "was the strongest among our family".

She had never told him she wanted to harm or kill herself, he said.

Shortly before emergency services were notified of Ms Kaur's burns, she had phoned her brother, saying: "He is telling me again to put money into his account."

Mr Singh said he was at work and told his sister he would ring her after he finished work or he would call her.

But "that's it", he said as he broke down.

The trial before Justice Natalie Adams continues.



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