Wednesday 28th January 2009, Lakhvinder Cheema
also known as "Lucky", aged 39, and his fiancée Gurjeet
Choongh aged 21, settled down at his home in Feltham,
West London, to eat a curry.
Within an hour he lost the
use of his arms and legs. His sight went, and his heart
began to fail with his blood pressure dropping.
Lucky died the same night
in West Middlesex hospital, his fiancée was placed into a
coma for two days by doctors, to give them time to
identify the poison, and administer an antidote.
Despite being in a critical condition she survived the
ordeal by eating a smaller portion of the curry.
Saturday 31st January
2009, Police arrest 49 year old Ms. Lakhvir Kaur
Ms Singh appeared at Ealing
Magistrates court charged with the murder of Mr Cheema,
and the attempted murder of Gurjeet Choongh. When she
was arrested a small packet of poison was found in
her coat pocket and another in her handbag. After her
arrest, Singh tried to blame her brother-in-law,
Varinder, for the death. But a lodger at the house saw
her take a container with the curry out of the fridge
earlier in the day.
Wednesday 10th February
2010, Ms Singh found guilty of murdering Mr. Cheema,
but found not guilty of the attempted murder of Gurjeet
Choongh, but, the jury did find her guilty of causing
Grievous bodily harm with intent.
Thursday 11th February
2010, The jury cleared Singh of a further charge of
administering poison to Mr Cheema in December 2008.
sentenced Ms Singh to life, with a minimum term of 23
Lakhvir Singh was allegedly
consumed with jealousy, procured the herb from India and
then gained access to Lucky’s house, where she put the
poison into their curry.
Lakhvir and Lucky had been lovers for 15 years prior to
his engagement to Gurjeet - an arranged match - whom
Lakhvir accused of seeking to marry Lucky only to obtain
residence in Britain.
Expert forensic analysis identified that Aconite was
present in both of the victims and the remains of the
curry they ate.
The last time an English
court convicted anyone of using the poison was in an
infamous case surrounding the murder of an 18 year old
man by his brother-in-law, a doctor named George Henry
Lamson, who was hanged in April 1882.
Indian Aconite, known as
the ‘queen of poisons’, is found in the Himalayan
foothills and known in India as Halahal — the poison
that mythology holds turned Shiva’s neck blue.
Court - Old Bailey, London