Tangled web led to woman's body being dumped in a frozen field
A man murdered and dumped his ex-wife’s body in Lancashire so he could be with her daughter.
Dilip Singh, who is today starting a life sentence, planned and carried out the crime amid a “tangled web” of deceit.
He then drove 200 miles to dump Chandrika Patel’s body in a field at Treales, near Kirkham, where it was discovered in December 2000.
Preston Crown Court heard how a “tangled web” involving marriages of convenience and illegal visitors led to the murder.
In a dramatic twist, Patel, 29, of Edgecot Road, Tottenham, changed his plea to guilty to the murder of his ex-wife on the day his trial was due to begin.
Crown Prosecutor Tim Holroyde QC said the case involved “illegal overstayers” as well as marriages of convenience in India and Britain.
The dead woman, aged 50, was at the time of her murder illegally staying in Britain.
The prosecution accepted a plea from co-defendant Jayendra Patel, 36, from The Marsh, Hythe, Southampton, of guilty to assisting in the disposal of the body.
He was jailed for three years after his denial of murder was accepted by the Crown.
Mr Holroyde said Jayendra Patel had family in the Preston area and had in the past travelled from the city to Blackpool.
Later a map found in Dilip Patel’s property had a mark near where the body was found.
Mr Holroyde said the dead woman had developed a hatred towards her former husband and resented him having any contact with her daughter.
In turn, Dilip Patel wanted her out of the way so he could live with the daughter.
In November 2000, Mr Holroyde said, Dilip Patel went to his ex-wife’s home in London “intending to kill her”.
He wore gloves and took with him strong adhesive tape. Chandrika, a mother-of-two, was strangled or suffocated and her body put into bin liners. Later Dilip Patel prevailed on
Jayendra to help dispose of the body 200 miles away in Kirkham, where it lay for several weeks before being discovered by a couple out walking on Spen Lane.
Dilip Patel, despite admitting the murder charge, still claimed that his co-defendant committed the act while he held her down, but the court heard that the prosecution did not feel there was sufficient evidence against Jayendra.
Mr Nigel Lambert QC, representing Dilip Patel, said the case involved a “complicated domestic mess,” but he had always loved the victim’s daughter.
“It had been a genuine love match,” he said.
Mr Alistair Webster QC, for Jayendra Patel, said as a man who was an illegal stayer in this country and who could not speak the language, he was vulnerable to suggestions that he help with the disposal of the body.
“He always denied having anything to do with the murder.
The Recorder of Preston, Judge Peter Openshaw QC, told Dilip Patel he had set out to “brutally murder” his former wife and after completing the task sought to dump her body so far away she would never be identified. After passing sentences the judge went on to commend the huge police investigation.
“This has been a protracted investigation.
“The identification of the body and the prosecution was only possible by a well directed and sustained effort of the police,” he said.