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Last Updated: Monday, 20 February 2006, 14:54 GMT
Man guilty of killing relatives
Gurmej Rai
Gurmej Rai will be sentenced on Tuesday for murder
A man has been found guilty of murdering four relatives by organising for their Black Country home to be set on fire while they were inside.

Gurmej Rai, 37, was convicted of killing wife Darshan Kaur, her parents Ajit Singh, 64, and Gurdish Kaur, 60, and daughter-in-law Palvinder Kaur, 44.

He was also convicted of the attempted murder of Amerjit Kaur who managed to escape by leaping through a window.

Rai recruited two men to set their house, in Peake Drive, Tipton, on fire.

Two Handsworth men, Raju Sahonta, 20, of Station Road, and Ravinder Bedhan, 19, of Raleigh Close, were acquitted of four counts of murder and one of attempted murder by a jury at Birmingham Crown Court.

The pair said they did not know anyone was in the house in the Dudley Port area and admitted the manslaughter of the four.

Fire scene

A fourth defendant, Ravinder Mattu, 20, of Birmingham Road, Great Barr, Birmingham, was cleared of four counts of murder and a single charge of attempted murder.

A jury, of six men and six women, took six hours and 31 minutes to reach the unanimous verdicts.

The five-week trial heard that Rai, of Florence Road, West Bromwich, had been in the UK for six years while his wife - known as both Darshan and Nurmal - stayed in India.

He lived a bachelor's life and had a mistress, but in 2004 his wife also came to Britain and her family told him he needed to start acting the model husband, the court heard.

Rai resented their views and organised for Sahonta and Badhan, to let themselves into the family home in September 2004.

'Behaved properly'

The pair were given keys to the house and doused the hallway in petrol before setting it alight.

Mr Stephen Linehan QC, prosecuting, told the court: "Four people died in that fire and a fifth person escaped by jumping from the bedroom window and was badly burnt.

"Mr Rai had been living in the UK for six years and living the bachelor's life, and had a mistress.

"But after his wife arrived her family were insistent he lived with his wife and behaved properly."

All three men will be sentenced on Tuesday.


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Watch the family's reaction to the verdict



SEE ALSO:
Family trapped in burning house
20 Feb 06 |  West Midlands
Arson murder charge trial starts
16 Jan 06 |  West Midlands
Funeral of arson death relatives
27 Oct 04 |  West Midlands
Jealousy theory in fatal blaze
30 Sep 04 |  West Midlands
CCTV examined after fatal blaze
29 Sep 04 |  West Midlands
Four 'arson' death victims named
28 Sep 04 |  West Midlands


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