The Supreme Court of the Canadian province of British Columbia yesterday sentenced Manmeet Singh to life in prison for killing Ravinder Bhangu, 24, in the office of 'Sach Di Awaaz', an Indo-Canadian weekly newspaper, where she worked as an administrative assistant, on July 28, 2011.
The attack took place a few months after the couple had split up, friends said at the time. Singh will serve life in prison for the second-degree murder and will not be eligible for parole for 16 years.
The Supreme Court judge, who handed down the life-term in prison to Singh for brutally murdering his wife, called violence against women "abhorrent" and said it should be denounced in the strongest terms possible.
Singh pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of Bhangu, on what was supposed to be the first day of his trial. Singh was initially charged with first-degree murder, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon.
On the fateful day in 2011, Singh walked into the Surrey office of the newspaper, where Bhangu worked three days a week as an administrative assistant, armed with a hatchet and two knives. Singh went up to Bhangu's desk and struck her at least twice in the head with the hatchet, The Province reported.
"The accused told the members of the office that (Ravinder) Bhangu was his wife ... and she cheated on him," Crown prosecutor Christopher McPherson was quoted as saying at Singh's sentencing hearing in Supreme Court in New Westminster.
"The blows caused cracks to her skull," McPherson said. Bhangu raised her arms to defend herself and two of her co-workers tried to get between Singh and his wife.
Singh then dropped the hatchet and pulled out one of the knives, stabbing Bhangu more than 30 times, the paper's report said. She suffered injuries to her torso and limbs, as well as gaping wounds to her neck.
As he stood next to his dying wife, clutching a bloody knife, Singh asked a bystander to call 911. Singh told the operator, in Punjabi, that he had killed his wife. Surrey Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrested Singh at the office.
The couple had met and fallen in love at college in India and married in 2008. Singh, who had previously moved to Surrey with his family, sponsored his wife in August 2009.
Singh and Bhangu lived with his family until April 2011, when Bhangu moved in with a family friend. According to defence lawyer Brij Mohan, Singh was devastated when Bhangu left.