London: An Indian-origin man in UK on trial for killing his ex-wife and then stuffing her body into a suitcase was sentenced on Friday to at least 18 years in jail for murder.
Ashwin Daudia, 51, had denied the murder charge, claiming he lost his temper during an argument with Kiran Daudia at their home in Leicester last January and did not attack her deliberately. The prosecution, however, claimed that Daudia, who followed the court proceedings through a Gujarati interpreter, had continued to lie about the circumstances surrounding the killing and had committed the murder after growing increasingly resentful of his ex-wife, who had joined a dating agency to meet other men.
"I was angry, I lost control," he told the Leicester Crown Court, adding that Kiran Daudia had initially assaulted him and to silence her, he put his hand over her mouth and then forcefully squeezed her neck.
However, the jury did not accept his version of events and found him guilty of killing his 46-year-old ex-wife.
He admitted in court that he had lied to his two sons, relatives and the police and told them that his ex-wife did not return home from a morning shift at the call centre she worked at and hid her body in a suitcase to prevent his younger son from seeing it. The suitcase, along with the dead body, was discovered by the local police a day after the murder.
The accused was caught on CCTV dragging his ex-wife's body in a suitcase before dumping it in an alleyway.
The couple, who had an arranged marriage in India in 1988, were divorced in 2014 but continued living separate lives under the same roof.
The factory worker husband was to move out of the family home on January 16, 2017, when the attack occurred, the Leicester Mercury reported.
The victim's sister had bought the couple's family home in Leicester to ensure that Ms Daudia could continue living there without her ex-husband after the divorce.
Their two sons chose to "side" with their mother and had relatively little to do with their father.
During the two-week murder trial which concluded on Friday, Ashwin Daudia claimed he lost his temper when his ex-wife shouted at him because he had not packed his bags or moved out. He claimed she swore at him and told him to go and die in India.
He denied the prosecution's suggestion that he had waited for his ex-wife to return home from work to deliberately kill her.
"I didn't do it deliberately, at that time my mind wasn't working," he told the court.