"He knew exactly what he had done."
Jigukumar Sorthi, aged 24, of North Evington, Leicester, has been convicted of murdering his fiancee. The jilted man stabbed her in front of her mother.
Leicester Crown Court heard he stabbed 21-year-old Bhavini Pravin four times in the living room of her family home in Moores Road, Belgrave, Leicester, on March 2, 2020.
It was said that it was a revenge attack because the Pravin family had called off his arranged marriage with Bhavini, who died in the living room despite attempts by medics to save her.
Bhavini’s mother, Vesti Sankar, tried to shield her daughter from Sorthi’s knife attack and begged him to take her life instead.
Sorthi earlier said he went to the Pravin’s home on March 2 to ask the parents about a phone call they made to his mother in India the previous day, cancelling the wedding.
The victim and Sorthi had a civil ceremony in India in 2017 and he had followed her to the UK in August 2018 on a spousal visa. However, the Pravin family would not allow the couple to live together until a religious wedding ceremony had taken place.
Sorthi told the court he had been rejected by the Pravin family. They allegedly criticised him for drinking alcohol and mixing with people they did not approve of.
He claimed that Bhavini’s father, Pravin Babu, had threatened him with a knife on one occasion. He said that was the reason why he took a knife to the property on March 2, for “self-defence”.
But Mr Babu said that never happened. He was at work when Sorthi visited his home.
On finding himself alone with Bhavini and her mother, the jilted man carried out a vicious attack. One of the blows struck Bhavini in the heart and proved to be fatal.
Two hours later, he handed himself in at Spinney Hill police station, saying his life had been ruined.
Sorthi told the jury he no longer loved Bhavini and had not wanted to save their marriage.
He said he had refused to grant her a divorce until he had secured an EU residency visa to remain in the UK.
Sorthi claimed Bhavini and her mother began swearing at him when he arrived at their flat and that is when he claimed he lost his self-control. However, his account was rejected by the jury.
The jilted man said he never went there intent on harming Bhavini nor causing serious injury.
But during the trial, Mary Prior QC, prosecuting, said: “He knew exactly what he had done.
“When he arrived at the police station he did not say that he had lost his senses or that he was not in control of himself.
“He said that he did it because his life had been ruined. This was anger and hurt from being jilted. He exacted his revenge.”
Sorthi accepted that he killed Bhavini but denied murder. He claimed that he lost his senses and was not in control of his actions.
On September 11, 2020, the jury deliberated for just one hour before finding Sorthi guilty of murder.
After the verdict, Detective Inspector Kenny Henry, from East Midlands Special Operations Unit Major Crime team and the senior investigating officer, said:
“This was a vicious attack on a defenceless young woman.
“Bhavini Pravin was 21 years old with her whole life ahead of her. Instead, it has been cruelly taken away by an act so brutal it doesn’t bear thinking about.
“Her family have said that a light has gone out in their lives and remain devastated by her death.”
Sorthi will be sentenced on September 16, 2020.