London, Aug 24 (PTI) An Indian-origin man found guilty of the double murder of his mother and stepfather has been sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum 36 years behind bars before being considered for parole by a UK court.
Anmol Chana, described as 'fanatical' about knives, stabbed his mother Jasbir Kaur, 52, and her husband Rupinder Singh Bassan, 51, multiple times at their home in Oldbury in the West Midlands region of England earlier this year.
The 26-year-old was convicted of the two murders after a nine-day trial at Birmingham Crown Court and sentenced on Friday.
'You claimed to the jury that you had killed them in self-defence. The truth was very different,' said Justice Mark Wall.
'I am sure that the allegations you made at trial of your mother abusing you throughout your childhood were false and designed to garner jury sympathy for you,' the sentencing judge concluded.
The British Sikh couple were found dead at their home in February, after West Midlands Police officers forced their way into their home following concerns being raised for their welfare.
'Chana carried out a despicable crime against his family in their own home which should have been a place of safety. Our investigation revealed that Chana was fanatical about knives and had previously expressed a desire to kill his mother,' said Detective Inspector Hannah Whitehouse, from the West Midlands Police homicide team.
'Sadly we do not know what led him to carry out such a vicious and sickening attack. My thoughts remain with the couple's wider family and friends. I can't imagine how they are feeling; the shock and pain that his actions have caused will stay with them forever. I hope the guilty verdict provides them with some comfort. Knife crime is devastating and this case has been a harsh reminder of the tragic consequences,' she said.
Kaur's daughter had been trying to reach her mother and sent a number of messages and even dropped by at their home but noticed Bassan's car was not there and assumed they were out.
The following day she called police and said she was concerned having still not been able to get in touch and also having tried her brother Chana at his home in nearby Smethwick.
As enquires continued, the police called Bassan's workplace and, upon hearing that he had not attended work, officers forced entry into their home. Tragically, they found Kaur and Bassan dead, stabbed multiple times, West Midlands Police said.
'We immediately launched a murder investigation and quickly turned our attention towards Chana. CCTV enquires showed that he had taken his stepfather's car – a Toyota Aygo – during the early hours of Sunday morning (23 February),' a police statement said.
'Our investigation also determined that he'd received hospital treatment for a nasty bite on his thumb, sat drinking and playing pool in a local pub and deposited money into his bank account, which he'd stolen after the killing. We also discovered he had bought a plane ticket and dumped the car,' it said.
The police tracked down Chana to arrest him at his home soon after and a search of the property revealed the keys to the car, his passport with travel details and a combat style knife, and a sheath covered in blood on his bed.
'It’s incomprehensible to think of what went on in those last moments as he murdered his mother and step-father. The number of knife wounds that both victims suffered, the locations of the wounds, the use of combat knives, lack of injury to the defendant and incriminating messages found on his devices all proved that this was a calculated act,' said Michael Dinsey, from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which presented the evidence against Chana in court.
'The case against him was overwhelming but despite this he persisted to trial with a defence of self-defence, trying to place the blame for his actions on the victims. The jury saw through these lies and convicted him accordingly,' he said.
The deceased couple's daughter paid tribute to her parents as 'most loving' people and 'beautiful souls'.
“My mum went through hell and kept going to look after me and my brother. She’s the toughest woman I know. My dad was the perfect match for her. He was that person who was able to give my mum the space and warmth to relax and be loved in the way we all deserve,' she said in a statement released via the police.
'I am sad that their lives were ended so quickly without a second thought by a person whom they both loved dearly. Their lives together had just started.
'Not only did he take their lives, but he has tried to defame them in court to protect himself. I am angry at him for trying to use such tactics against their memory and against the person who always did her best for us,' said the unnamed daughter, adding that her only comfort was knowing that her parents were hopefully at 'peace together'. PTI AK MRJ MRJ