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Accused: Mundil Mahil is accused of luring her ex-boyfriend to her flat in Brighton where she was attacked. She denies murder
Two ‘gangsters’ set fire to a TV executive after locking him in the boot of his car on the orders of his ex-girlfriend, the Old Bailey heard today.
Medical student Mundil Mahil, 20, enlisted the men to take revenge on Gagandip Singh, 21, after he attempted to rape her, it was claimed.
She lured him back to her basement room in Brighton, East Sussex, before Harinder Shoker, also known as Ravi, and Darren Peters, both 20, beat him unconscious, it is alleged.
The victim was then allegedly bundled into the boot of his Mercedes and driven back to London
before the vehicle was set ablaze with him still inside.
Mr Singh’s body was found in Blackheath, south east London, in the early hours of February 26 this year.
A post-mortem revealed he had suffered severe head injuries.
Aftab Jafferjee QC said Mr Singh and Mahil were both members of the
Sikh community and had begun a relationship in 2009.
‘Gagandip Singh was plainly, on the evidence, besotted with her,’ he told jurors.
wooed her with gifts, while she provided him with emotional support –
particularly when his father was murdered on a visit to India in
September 2009 – and would spend hours chatting with him on the phone
and internet, the court heard.
Gagandip’s father’s packaging business had been turning over more than £2million year when money started going missing from the firm.
His accountant was based in India and the father went to investigate but was murdered there. His son took over the firm and also started the Sikh TV channel on Sky.
However Gagandip’s relationship with his girlfriend Mahil broke down in August 2010 after Mr Singh ‘attempted to rape’ her in her student house. A housemate, Becky Edwards, described Mahil as an ‘agony aunt’ and said: ‘During our first year she talked to him about very intimate, personal things.
‘He was a millionaire who offered her lots of gifts which she refused. After his father died they became closer and he was dependent on her.’ But Mr Jafferjee said the attempted rape changed everything.
He said: ‘It is common ground that he tried to have sex with her by getting into her bed.
Murdered: Gagandip Singh, 21, was in a car that was set on fire
‘Both were to describe it as an attempted rape – although in fact her description of events, even to her friends, suggest it did not get as far as that.
‘She forced him away, he broke down in tears and he left.’
Mahil became increasingly upset and angry, and spurned Mr Singh’s attempts to strike up further contact with her, jurors were told.
She became so resentful that after the attempted rape she referred to him only as s***face,’ the court heard.
‘That she disliked him intensely there can be little doubt,’ the barrister said.
‘She can be extremely manipulative.
She knew that he was completely besotted by her and would jump at the
chance of contact with her.’
At the same time, she also began a relationship with Shoker, who Mr Jafferjee told jurors was also ‘besotted’ with her.
‘She told her housemates about how on occasions certain of her male friends, which she referred to as gangster friends, wished to exact revenge and retribution on him (Mr Singh) but that she would discourage it,’ he added.
‘Unfortunately by February this year, far from discouraging anyone from harming him, she lured him to Brighton, suggesting a meeting at the same house at 11pm.’ The victim was both ‘excited’ and ‘wary’, he said, adding: ‘He asked her whether she was sure this was such a good idea.’
Mr Jafferjee added: ‘On February 25 he drove down in his sister’s Mercedes. ‘But laying in wait for him in the basement of the house, where her bedroom was, were Ravi and Darren Peters. ‘He had no idea what lay in store for him. He was attacked and beaten unconscious.
‘He was then wrapped up in Mahil’s duvet and carried by Ravi and Peters and dumped in the boot of the Mercedes he had arrived in.’
After the car had been driven to Blackheath it was set on fire with Mr Singh still in the boot.
Tributes: Flowers next to the charred tree where the dead body of Gagindip Singh was found in the boot of a burnt out car
‘Petrol was poured onto the car, including onto him as he lay either still unconscious or on any view completely helpless inside the boot,’ said Mr Jafferjee.
‘It is scientifically clear beyond any doubt that he was still alive at that point. ‘The car was then set alight with him in the boot and that is how his life was ended.’
The prosecutor added that Mahil was key to the killing and initiated it. ‘Her role was central. If she had agreed to lure him to Brighton that fateful evening the deceased would have been safe and alive today,’ Mr Jafferjee said.
‘No-one else had the ability to get the deceased to a place where he was completely vulnerable.’
Her new boyfriend, Shoker, ‘almost certainly had his own agenda and it was not of the righteous crusader protecting a young woman’s virtue,’ the barrister added.
‘He being besotted with her was more than happy to get rid of Gagandip.’
Peters was hired to help deal with the victim who was one grade below black belt at Taekwondo, the court heard.
‘Mahil was the person who lured the victim into the trap that had been laid,’ Mr Jafferjee said.
‘Peters and Ravi were the hired muscle who would draw this plan to its awful conclusion.’
Housemate Live Thorsen said on the night of the killing she saw sobbing Mahil coming up from the basement.
‘She was shaking with tears in her eyes. She was very traumatised. She said “He’s been here.” She said she had a flashback (to the attempted rape) on seeing his face.
‘I could hear noise coming from down the stairs. It was very loud like someone was trying to tear the house down. It was a loud fight.’
Mahil told her she had asked Mr Singh to come to the house and he had turned up with a teddy bear for her.
‘She said that she was told to get him into the house and get him downstairs and then open the door to her room and then run upstairs.
‘She described how once she had opened the door they had leapt straight on him and she remained on the stairs unable to move.
‘The deceased had been screaming her name asking for help, but she couldn’t bring herself to help.’
Later Mahil told her the two men were taking the victim to the car, the court heard.
Shoker, from Charlton, London, Peters, from Kidbrooke, London, and Mahil, from Chatham, Kent, all deny murder.
The trial continues.