London

Geeta Aulakh's husband denies murder of 'first love'

Geeta Aulakh
Image caption Geeta Aulakh died in Greenford in November 2009 as she was collecting her children

A man from west London who has denied ordering his wife's murder has told the Old Bailey she was his first love and "life was rosy" after they married.

Harpreet Aulakh from Greenford arranged for Geeta Aulakh to be killed after she began divorce proceedings, the prosecution claims.

He told the court he felt "very bad" after she was killed and denied he was responsible. Mrs Aulakh had her hand chopped off in the attack.

Mr Aulakh and three others deny murder.

Sher Singh, 19, of Southall, west London; Harpreet Singh, 20, of Slough, Berkshire; and Jaswant Dhillon, 30, of Ilford, east London, are also on trial.

'Everything was great'

Mr Aulakh, 32, said he first met his future wife at a bus stop in Hounslow and would walk her to work after they started dating.

"It was my first love," he said. "Everything was great."

But he said Mrs Aulakh's Hindu relatives would not accept him, as a Sikh, and she was made to feel as though she was bringing "shame and dishonour" on her family.

The couple moved to Belgium and the Netherlands after receiving threats, he said.

They married in 1999 and later returned to the UK.

Mr Aulakh was asked by his defence QC if he murdered the 28-year-old, or arranged for her to be killed.

"No," he replied to both questions.

The trial continues.

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