A pensioner has been convicted of manslaughter after his elderly wife was found dead at their home.
Gian Bhandal was found dead at the couple’s home in Stourbridge, West Midlands, on 23 January 2020.
It was initially believed the 82-year-old had died of natural causes, however a full post mortem revealed that she had suffered several bone fractures to her ribs and arm. Her body was also covered in bruises.
A full investigation was launched and Bhandal's husband, Pargan Singh Bhandal, was later arrested on suspicion of her murder.
The 84-year-old denied killing his wife, but post mortem results determined she had died from injuries caused during a "sustained and violent assault".
‘Tramline bruising’ found on the victim's body was consistent with having been caused by her being repeatedly hit with an item described as being similar to a rod or cylindrical type object, the court heard.
Bhandal was also found to have fractures and bruising to her forearms that she is likely to have suffered while protecting herself from being assaulted.
In addition to the fracture to her right forearm, Gian Bhandal was found to have multiple rib fractures and areas of bruising. Nine fractures were recorded on the right side of her ribs and seven fractures on the left side of her ribs. The court heard that these had been caused by multiple blows.
A cylindrical wooden broken walking stick was recovered from the couple’s home address within the room where Pargan Bhandal slept. The jury was told he used such a stick, but not all the time.
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Although Bhandal had been considered mentally fit at the time of his arrest and charge in February 2020, his health deteriorated in the months after his wife’s death. He suffered dementure to such an extent that he was not deemed fit to stand trial before a jury.
Bhandal was absent for a trial of fact at Northampton Crown Court and after deliberating for less than three hours the jury found Bhandal guilty of the manslaughter of his wife.
Detective Inspector Adam Jobson from West Midlands Police CID, said: “This case was made far more complex given that Gian’s death was not treated as suspicious at the time and had only been identified as suspicious following a thorough examination of Gian.
“Sadly, however we are unlikely to ever know exactly what happened to Gian in the moments leading up to her death but I hope this outcome shows that domestic violence of any sort will always be treated with the seriousness it deserves and we will seek justice for our victims.”
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