London

Pardeep Kaur killing: Man guilty of motorway bridge murder

Pardeep Kaur Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Pardeep Kaur was reported missing after she failed to return home from work

A homeless man has been found guilty of murdering a woman who was grabbed as she walked to work in west London.

Vadims Ruskuls, 25, killed Pardeep Kaur during a violent sex attack and hid her body in undergrowth near Harlington Bridge, which crosses the M4, in October last year.

Ms Kaur's body was found nearly a week after she was reported missing.

Ruskuls and his mother were thought be sleeping rough beneath the bridge when he killed the hotel housekeeper.

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Media captionThe CCTV shows Pardeep Kaur and a man walking beneath the Harlington High Street flyover

During the trial at Old Bailey, the jury was shown CCTV of Ruskuls following his 30-year-old victim as she approached the bridge in Hayes.

They then disappeared from view for 25 minutes before Ruskuls appeared again, dragging Ms Kaur's partially-clothed body.

The prosecution said Ms Kaur had scratched Ruskuls' face in attempt to flee but her screams were drowned out by the traffic.

Her body was dumped on waste ground known as a "bleak spot" and used by rough sleepers, drunks and drug addicts, the court heard.

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Vadims Ruskuls refused to make any comment to police and declined to give evidence in court

Ruskuls was caught after a local police constable recognised the figure in CCTV footage as a man he had spoken to the day after Mrs Kaur's disappearance.

Following his arrest, Ruskuls' DNA matched samples taken from Ms Kaur's ankle, sock and the left cup of her bra with a probability of "one in a billion", jurors were told.

Jurors were told Ms Kaur had come to live in Britain in 2011 with her husband, Rachpal Singh.

The pair worked six days a week to send money to their five-year-old daughter, who lived with her grandparents in India.

When Ms Kaur was reported missing, police initially suspected her husband as he lied about seeing her that morning when he had yet to return from a night shift.

The court heard he had feared officers would discover he was working without a permit, but after he told the truth the investigation quickly moved on.

The defendant, who denied murder, refused to make any comment in police interviews and declined to give evidence in court.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Pardeep Kaur's body was found near Harlington Bridge in Hayes, west London

In a victim impact statement, Ms Kaur's husband said: "I wonder why it happened to lovely Pardeep and why Vadims Ruskuls killed her.

"This will always be a mystery to me.

"The circumstances of Pardeep's death will always haunt me because Vadims Ruskuls has not given an explanation."

Judge Richard Marks QC adjourned sentencing until Wednesday.

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