Page last updated at 17:28 GMT, Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Woman 'poisoned ex-lover's curry'

Lakhvinder Cheema
Lakhvinder Cheema was known as Lucky

A "jealous" woman poisoned her former lover and his new fiancée with a deadly toxin mixed into their curry, an Old Bailey jury has been told.

Lakhvinder Cheema, 39, died and Gurjeet Choongh, 21, nearly lost her life in January 2008 after Lakhvir Kaur Singh spiked the dish, the court heard.

Mr Cheema died within an hour of being taken to hospital - two weeks before he and Miss Choongh were due to marry.

Ms Singh, 40, of Southall, west London, denies murder and attempted murder.

The couple had eaten a curry together at Mr Cheema's home in Feltham, west London, and then had become violently ill, said Edward Brown, QC, prosecuting.

'Anger and revenge'

Miss Choongh, who had eaten less of the meal, came out of a coma and recovered.

Mr Brown said Mr Cheema and Miss Choongh had been "looking forward to a long and happy life together".

He said: "It was their very happiness and their intended future together that brought about the devastation that came to bear down upon them at the hands of Lakhvir Singh.

"She had been Mr Cheema's long term lover and it was his decision to marry Miss Choongh that caused the defendant to act in the way that she did.

Lakhvinder Cheema's home in Feltham
The couple had the poisoned meal at Mr Cheema's home

"Perhaps jealousy, anger and revenge all playing their part, she decided to poison them using an extremely toxic and deadly poison, possibly brought especially from India."

Mr Cheema, who was known as Lucky, died "having suffered the onslaught of the poison that rapidly took its toll on his body".

In less than an hour, he had lost the use of his arms and legs. His sight then went, and his heart began to fail with his blood pressure dropping.

Mr Brown said experts had identified the poison as aconite ferox, more commonly known as Indian aconite.

Mr Brown told the jury the poison had been found among herbs and powders found in Ms Singh's house.

The defendant also denies a third charge of administering poison on to endanger life.

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