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Punjabi NRI Woman Found Guilty Of Poisoning Ex-Lover With 'queen Of Poisons'

source: http://www.punjabnewsline.com/content/view/23328/38/\

Punjabi NRI woman found guilty
of poisoning ex-Lover with 'queen of poisons'

Punjab Newsline Network
Friday, 12 February 2010

LONDON: An Indian-origin woman faced life sentence after being found guilty of poisoning her former lover to death, using an ancient Indian herb in the first such case in Britain in 128 years.

Lakhvir Kaur Singh, a 40-year-old mother of three, was convicted of killing her ex-lover Lakhvinder Cheema, 39, and leaving his fiancé seriously ill after lacing their curry with Aconite -- a poison that finds a mention in ancient Indian texts.

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. 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.

Cheema, known as Lucky, was blinded and paralysed while his fiancé, Gurjeet Choough, now 22, fell into a coma after eating the poisoned curry in January last year.

A London court heard Wednesday how Lakhvir, 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 about 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.

The court was told Gurjeet and Lucky fell violently sick after eating the curry, with paralysis taking hold very quickly. They had both lost their sight and were losing the use of their limbs - by the time they reached the hospital Lucky was completely paralysed.

He died within an hour of being admitted. Gurjeet was put into a medical coma and recovered two days later. Lakhvir was arrested Jan 28, 2009, and a small packet of the poison was found in her coat pocket and another in her handbag.

Expert forensic analysis identified that Aconite was present in both of the victims and the remains of the curry they ate. Lakhvir claimed she used it for a herbal remedy for a skin complaint by mixing it with cow's urine.