Sunday 25 February 2018

Jealous husband beat wife to death with dumbbell after private investigator uncovered affair, court told

Rosemary Gill
Rosemary Gill

A jealous husband battered his wife to death with a dumbbell after private investigators he hired uncovered her affair, a court has heard.

Nirmal Gill, 49, allegedly murdered his wife Rosemary Gill, 48, in the bedroom of their home in St Werburghs, Bristol, at around 3am on July 20 last year.

Bristol Crown Court heard "possessive" Gill had become suspicious of his wife's behaviour and contracted a team of private investigators to watch her movements.

The firm fitted a tracking device to Mrs Gill's Audi and relayed information of her location to Gill - who followed her in his own and borrowed cars, a jury heard.

Gill, of Bristol, discovered his wife was having an affair with her ex-husband Andrew Cooper when he spotted the pair embracing during a secret meeting, it is alleged.

Three days later, Gill allegedly carried out the fatal "revenge" attack, using a metal dumbbell to strike his wife in the head at least 12 times.

Mrs Gill's naked and bloodied body was discovered eight hours later by the couple's daughter, Jasmine, 19, who had been sleeping in the room next door.

Prosecuting, Michael Fitton QC told the jury Gill admits the manslaughter of his wife, a mother-of-two, through a loss of control but denies murdering her.

"He didn't lose control of himself when he beat her to death, he knew what he was doing," Mr Fitton told the jury.

"He was killing her in revenge for what he had discovered about her behaviour because she had been unfaithful.

"He had known about it when he saw her with the man in Thornbury and in Gordano.

"He was killing her because he was a jealous man who was never going to forgive her, not just for the affair but for lying to him.

"She paid for her affair with her life."

Mr Fitton said Mrs Gill had been married to Mr Cooper between 1982 and 1986, before marrying Gill in 1989.

"To the outside world the marriage appeared to have been happy enough, but those in the house were aware that in reality it was otherwise," Mr Fitton said.

The marriage began to struggle in 2013 and the couple began sleeping separately, he said.

Mrs Gill met with Mr Cooper at the beginning of the year and they rekindled their friendship and later relationship, the court was told.

"She said Nirmal was a jealous and possessive man and she was keeping the relationship with Andrew a secret from Nirmal," Mr Fitton said.

By June 2013, Mrs Gill informed her husband she wanted a divorce and contacted a local solicitor to begin the legal process, he continued.

The couple argued, with Mrs Gill calling police for help on four separate occasions between June 9 and 21, the lawyer said.

"The defendant, who had clearly expressed his love for Rosemary many times and continued to do so, was deeply upset about the decline and breakdown of the marriage," Mr Fitton said.

"He began following Rosemary when she went out in the evening.

"He arranged to have her watched.

"He arranged for a tracking device to be fitted to her car.

"He asked to have her phone tracked but the enquiry agency said they couldn't do that."

Mr Fitton said Gill contracted an enquiry agency on July 12 and paid money to have a tracking device fitted to her Audi.

The same day, Mrs Gill went to meet Mr Cooper at Cribbs Causeway in Bristol but noticed her husband following her car and cancelled the visit, the prosecutor said.

She arranged to meet Mr Cooper in Thornbury, where the couple spent time in his car.

"After Rosemary and Andrew had separated, he heard from Rosemary that the defendant had been watching them in the car park and had watched them embrace," Mr Fitton said.

On July 19, Mrs Gill and Mr Cooper met at Gordano Services on the M5 at 1.30pm.

Gill allegedly used the agency to track his wife's Audi and followed her in a borrowed car.

Later that day, Mrs Gill and Gill spoke about their relationship and agreed it was "coming to an end", the jury heard.

Mrs Gill left to meet Mr Cooper at a pub at 7pm in Dursley, Gloucestershire, where she told him Gill had agreed to leave home, it is said.

At 7.30pm, Gill sent his wife a text message reading: "I am leaving Saturday but I have two stipulations.

"I would like to spend one last night in bed with you and make love with you.

"That's all I wish for.

"Have a nice evening xxx."

Mrs Gill returned home at around 10pm, texting Mr Cooper that Gill was asleep.

At 3am, neighbours heard banging noises at the three-bedroomed property.

Jasmine discovered her mother's body at around midday, with her father sat naked on the side of the bed.

She told him to leave the property and he dressed, returning at 9pm to be arrested by police, the court heard.

Forensic investigations found Mrs Gill had been clothed during the fatal attack, with her underwear ripped off her body post-mortem, Mr Fitton said.

In interview, Gill initially told police he had flown into a rage after his wife called him a "sad, pathetic man".

He later told officers he had taken a "cocktail of drink and drugs" and could not remember attacking his wife, Mr Fitton said.

In a separate account, he said Gill claimed he had tried to have sex with his wife 20 minutes after her death but was not successful.

His account is now that the couple both wanted sex but it did not work and Mrs Gill ridiculed him - with his mind blank after that moment, Mr Fitton said.

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