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Sydney Fiery Murder Accused Not Guilty

The 42-year-old, charged with killing his wife, was facing trial in the New South Wales Supreme Court.

SYDNEY — More than seven years after Kulwinder Singh’s wife died in a petrol-fuelled blaze, Singh was acquitted of her murder.

Kulwinder Singh, 42, had pleaded not guilty to murdering Parwinder Kaur on December 2, 2013, at their Rouse Hill home in Sydney’s north-west.

The Crown’s case was that he poured petrol over his 32-year-old wife and set her alight after arguing about finances, including his requests, to contribute to the mortgage.

The defense says she set herself on fire to create a “drama,” confident that Singh would put out the blaze.

The New South Wales Supreme Court jury earlier watched video footage evidence of Singh’s police interview following the incident, showing him wailing after being told of his wife’s injuries.

The Supreme Court of New South Wales is the highest state court of the Australian State of New South Wales. It has unlimited jurisdiction within the state in civil matters and hears the most serious criminal matters.

He repeatedly exclaimed, “please don’t,” “please don’t say that,” “please don’t say she’s in a serious condition,” and “I can’t hear this” in the footage.

Neighbors have also testified to hearing Kaur’s high-pitched and piercing scream, while one heard Singh say “fire, fire,” followed by, “I’m a good man, I didn’t mean for this to happen.”

Kulwinder Singh with his wife Parwinder Kaur. (AAP Image/File photo)

Singh denied knowing how the jerry can of petrol and the lighter used had ended up in the house’s laundry, insisting he had not touched the jerry can for at least six months.

Kaur suffered full-thickness burns to 90 percent of her body and died in hospital the next day.

In a post-mortem examination, she was found to have a three-centimeter bruise near her hairline and a contusion on her eyelid. A forensic pathologist believed was caused by two different blunt-force impacts.

Ten of Kaur’s fingerprints were found on the petrol tin, and only her fingerprint and DNA were found on the lighter.

Crown Prosecutor Philip Hogan said the relationship was an “unhappy” one, with Kaur calling her brother at one stage to say Singh had beaten her up and thrown her out of the house. She had also indicated she wanted to divorce him.

On a visit to India, Singh allegedly told his sister-in-law that if his wife wanted a divorce, he would disagree, saying, “We kill people, and nobody can find out.”

A jury of five men and seven women, which met on March 30, found Singh not guilty of murder after deliberating for three hours.

(Edited by Amrita Das and Ritaban Misra)