London, Feb 3: An Indian-origin man on trial in the UK for strangling his ex-wife to death and then disposing off her body in a suitcase has been given a life sentence with a minimum of 18 years behind bars.
Ashwin Daudia, 51, strangled Kiran Daudia, 46, at their house in Leicester in January last year and stuffed her remains into the suitcase before dumping it in an alley behind bins. He was caught on CCTV dragging the suitcase on the street and disposing it, the BBC reported.
Daudia was sentenced by Leicester Crown Court on Friday.
However, Daudia denied the murder charge and said that he “lost his temper” during an argument with his former wife at their house but did not attack her deliberately. He said he killed her in “self-defence”.
“I was angry, I lost control,” he told the court, adding that Kiran Daudia had initially assaulted him and to silence her, he put his hand over her mouth and then forcefully squeezed her neck.
The prosecution, however, dismissed Daudia’s claims as a “lie”. They argued ligature marks on her neck suggested she had been strangled with her own scarf. It said that Daudia had committed the murder after growing increasingly resentful of his former wife, who had joined a dating agency to meet other men.
The Daudias had an arranged marriage in India in 1988. They were divorced in 2014 but had continued living “separate lives” under the same roof. Their house had been sold to Kiran Daudia’s sister.
The court heard Daudia killed his ex-wife on the day he was due to be kicked out of the home they shared. The man admitted in the court that he had lied to his two sons, relatives and the police that his ex-wife did not return home from work.
Daudia hid her body in a suitcase to prevent his younger son from seeing it. The suitcase was discovered by the police a day after the murder.
Passing sentence, Judge Timothy Spencer said he was satisfied Daudia had killed his former wife “in what should have been the safety of her own home”.
The victim’s family said she had “lots of dreams and aspirations which were… taken away by this demonic act”.