College lecturer throttled daughter following a row with his wife (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting DST to 80360 or email us
College lecturer throttled daughter following a row with his wife
A COLLEGE lecturer who throttled his daughter with a scarf during a marital row walked free from court - despite being branded "reprehensible" by his own solicitor.
Gurdass Singh warned his wife that he would kill the terrified 12-year-old unless she left their home in Thornaby, near Stockton, following months of domestic difficulties.
Defence lawyer Peter Wishlade told Teesside Crown Court today (Thursday, March 14) that the father-of-three had reached breaking point and lost his temper for the first time in his life.
His wife Balvinder was worried that his recent interest in socialising and drinking possibly indicated he was having an affair, prosecutor Rachel Masters told the court.
She made repeated calls to Darlington College where the 37-year-old was a computer lecturer to see if his excuses for "working late" and not being at home were genuine.
Mr Wishlade claimed the paranoid ideas were the result of Mrs Singh discovering that her own father had had an affair and she had a sister she knew nothing about.
He told Judge Simon Bourne-Arton, QC, that Singh had been of "exemplary character" before the incident last July but was suspended and will probably not return to work.
"He is utterly ashamed of his completely reprehensible behaviour," Mr Wishlade said. "His wife will say she did not believe for one second he would kill the children.
"This was an arranged marriage when he was 18 and there were absolutely no difficulties with the marriage until 2010 when his wife discovered her father had another daughter.
"Why this should have the disastrous effect on her it did I know not, but from that moment she categorically believed he was committing adultery with people at the college."
During the argument at the family home in Cambridge Road, Thornaby, Singh locked his wife out the house and warned her: "If you don't leave, I'll kill the children."
He eventually allowed her back in, but wrapped a scarf around the neck of their daughter and pulled so tightly that his hands started to shake, Miss Masters told the court.
Judge Bourne-Arton imposed a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, with supervision 80 hours of unpaid community work and a £500 order for costs.
He told Singh, who admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm: "You used your daughter as a pawn in your battle with your wife, and that is to your utter discredit.
"You placed that scarf around her neck as a weapon against your wife without thinking of the consequences to your daughter. What you did here was effectively terrify her."