Content warning: This post deals with graphic violence.
Nikita Chawla told her husband she wanted move out. Days later, the 23-year-old was dead.
Her husband, Parminder Singh, told police he checked his wife’s phone while she slept and found a selfie sent from a bearded male colleague.
Then, he got angry, suffered a sort of “blackout”, and didn’t remember what happened next.
What did happen next was a tragic waste of a young woman’s life by an entitled, jealous and violent man who purported to love her.
In the early hours of January 9, Ms Chawla was slashed 35 times with a meat cleaver in the Brunswick West flat she shared with her killer.
“I think I couldn’t control myself and I hold a big knife and kept hitting her until she stopped breathing,” he said.
Singh then called 000 and told operators he’d killed his wife and that they should come and collect her corpse, News Limited reports.
“I had one big knife I used to cut her throat,” he said.
Singh told a police officer: “I got my wife – right – I killed her. I love her so much, I had a bright future with her and then she’s been cheating on me… I just find out today and I – I think my anxiety took over and then I lost it.”
“But I don’t know why she cheated on me,’” he said.
“I told her, ‘if you have anyone I’ll let you go. Please keep me in the loop. I want you happy’.
“She lies, lied and she’s not smart enough.”
Ms Chawla, a talented dancer and choreographer, told her husband she wanted to move out just days before she died and confided to friends she wished to end her marriage.
In sentencing him to 22 years’ jail this week, Supreme Court Justice Lex Lasry told the remorseless Singh he murdered his wife in this “extreme example of domestic violence” out of vengeance and to exercise control, ensuring she could not share her life with anyone else.
“You murdered someone you professed to love,” Justice Lasry told Singh.
“You murdered someone who was entirely entitled to end her marriage with you.”
He said the jealous Singh, who pleaded guilty to murder in October, did not seem to understand that nothing that happened in the lead up to the vicious killing could excuse his behaviour.
Singh will serve at least 17 years’ imprisonment before being eligible for parole.
It’s a hefty jail term, but no sentence will be enough for Ms Chawla’s family. Because no sentence can bring her back to them.
If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. It doesn’t matter where you live, they will take your call and, if need be, refer you to a service closer to home.