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Jilted woman 'laced former lover's curry with poison'

A spurned woman poisoned her former lover and his new fiancée by lacing their curry with an ancient poison, the Old Bailey heard yesterday.

Lakhvinder Cheema, 39, died and Gurjeet Choough, 21, nearly lost her life in January last year after Lakhvir Singh spiked their meal two weeks before their wedding on Valentine's Day, it was alleged. The couple had eaten a curry together at Mr Cheema's home in Feltham, west London, and had become violently ill, said Edward Brown, QC, prosecuting. Mr Cheema died within an hour of being taken to hospital, but Ms Choough, who had eaten less of the meal, came out of a coma and recovered.

The court heard that Ms Singh and Mr Cheema had once been "long term lovers", but his decision to marry Ms Choough had angered his former partner so much that she decided to poison the engaged pair, mixing aconite into a chicken curry while visiting Mr Cheema's home. Mr Brown said the poison – which has been used for thousands of years and is also known as "wolfsbane" – was found among herbs and powders in Ms Singh's house.

He said Mr Cheema and Ms Choough had been "looking forward to a long and happy life together", adding: "That future happiness was cut short in a most terrible and cruel way. It was their very happiness and their intended future together that brought about the devastation that came to bear down upon them at the hands of Lakhvir Singh."

Less than an hour after eating the curry, Mr Cheema had lost use of his arms and legs. His sight then failed, followed by his heart after his blood pressure dropped. He later died. Ms Choough was admitted to intensive care in hospital and was put into a coma so doctors could stabilise her.

Ms Singh, 40, of Southall, west London, denies murder, attempted murder and administering poison. The trial continues.