Family of Vancouver teen’s killer paid $150,000 to help him flee country, says crown counsel

Published: March 27, 2013
Ninderjit SIngh

A photo illustration show how one-time fugitive Ninderjit SIngh changed his appearance over the 12 years he was hiding out in the U.S. after shooting and killing ex-girlfriend Poonam Randhawa. PNG files

KEITH FRASER
VANCOUVER DESI

The family of murderer Ninderjit Singh colluded with him in his efforts to evade police, paying $150,000 so he could obtain illegal documents in the United States.

After Singh fatally shot Vancouver teen Poonam Randhawa, he fled to California, where he eluded police for the next 12 years.

At his sentencing hearing Wednesday, Crown counsel Sandy Cunningham said that while in New York state, Singh obtained the necessary documents to become a different person.

“His family paid $150,000 to obtain the illegally forged identification,” Cunningham told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Bruce Butler.

“With those forged documents he was able to get a U.S. social security number and other documents. He then went to Arizona where he fraudulently obtained a driver’s licence.”

After the murder, police spoke to Singh’s family but got no cooperation from them as to his whereabouts, said the prosecutor.

“Every single member of his family claimed to have no idea where he was and also denied ever having contact with him,” said Cunningham.

“They lied to police and border officials again and again, it turned out. The entire family stayed in close contact with him and provided him with constant financial assistance.”

The accused’s mother even travelled to California where she spent time with Singh and his new wife after the birth of their two children, she added.

Cunningham called for Singh to be jailed for between 17 and 20 years before he is eligible to apply for parole.

She outlined a number of aggravating factors, including that Singh shot Poonam “point blank” because she had the audacity to go out with other men and because he believed he’d been made a fool of in front of his friends.

Singh entered his surprise guilty plea March 11 on what was to have been the first day of his trial.

He’d been on the lam for 12 years following the January 1999 fatal shooting of Randhawa, who had recently broken off a secret relationship that had begun when she was 16 and he was 20.

Ninderjit Singh

A Feb. 5, 1999 file photo shows both a warrant for Ninderjit Singh as well as the red Topaz in which Poonam Randhawa was shot to death. Arlen Redekop/PNG files

Court heard that Singh became jealous and controlling and assaulted her a month before the murder.

Just prior to the murder, he drove from California, where he was living and working at the time, to Vancouver.

He invited the high school student into his vehicle and shot her once in the head as she sat in the back seat. He disposed of her body in a laneway.

Singh then fled Vancouver, travelling first to Seattle, where he caught a flight to California on the same day as the slaying.

For the next 12 years, he managed to elude police, taking up a false identity and changing his appearance. He got married, had two children and worked as a trucker owner-operator.

Vancouver police believed that his family knew where he was but got no co-operation. Police closed in on him several times but were not able to capture him.

Finally, police launched an undercover operation aimed at his half-brother in Calgary.

Posing as members of a criminal organization, police were eventually led to Singh.

Police were able to locate Singh at his five-bedroom home in San Jacinto, Calif. and they conducted surveillance on him.

In August 2011, they pulled him over during a traffic stop and arrested him.

Singh’s wife and two children, who had no idea about his past, were in the vehicle.

Singh, who was charged with first-degree murder, was then extradited to Canada to face trial.

He pleaded guilty to the lesser offence of second-degree murder, which carries a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 25 years of parole ineligibility.

Outside court, Harry Randhawa, a cousin of Poonam, said Singh’s conduct was “reprehensible” and “absolutely disgusting.”

“To take somebody who had their whole future ahead of them and shoot them and throw them in a lane like they’re garbage, there’s no words for that.”

Regarding the $150,000 paid by the family, Randhawa said ultimately Singh was the one on trial but added the victim’s family holds his family responsible also.

“We hold their entire family responsible as well for what happened. They’ve supported him financially and in every possible way.”

The cousin added that he’d like to see charges pressed against Singh’s family.

“It’s a shame for our whole community that someone does something like that and people still support him.”

Randhawa said while there was no death penalty in Canada, Poonam’s family wants the “maximum” penalty against Singh.

“You cannot run and you cannot hide. They will get you if you do something like this.”

He described his cousin as being “fearless” and someone who had no problem with standing up to a bully.

Her family had always hoped for the day Singh would face justice, he added.

“Many of us struggled with it every day. Many of my family members struggle with depression, take pills.

“We’re glad to be here. There’s no victory in any of this.”

kfraser@theprovince.com
twitter.com/keithrfraser

Tags: , , ,




Featured

Jacqui Feldman shows off a recovering Sugar, her 13-year-old poodle that Terra Nova vet Dr. Javaid Chaudhry, rear, helped save after operating to remove a tumour. Feldman, who is battling cancer herself, fell on hard times and couldn’t afford to pay the $3,000-plus for Sugar’s procedure.  Alan Campbell/Richmond News

Richmond veterinarian steps up to save cancer sufferer’s dying dog

ALAN CAMPBELL RICHMOND NEWS Richmond’s Jacqui Feldman, who’s suffering from terminal cancer, is crediting a local veterinarian with saving her life. It was a few weeks ago…
Continue Reading »

An artist sketch of Yosef Jomo Gopaul, the man accused of killing hockey mom Julie Paskall. Felicity Don, Sketch

Man accused of killing Surrey hockey mom pleads guilty to lesser charge of manslaughter

JENNIFER SALTMAN VANCOUVER DESI SURREY, B.C. — A man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with the death of Surrey’s Julie Paskall, who was…
Continue Reading »

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control is looking for new immigrant women to participate in a health study.

New immigrant women sought for B.C. Centre for Disease Control health study

BURNABY NOW The B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has put out a call for Greater Vancouver women from India, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Jacqui Feldman shows off a recovering Sugar, her 13-year-old poodle that Terra Nova vet Dr. Javaid Chaudhry, rear, helped save after operating to remove a tumour. Feldman, who is battling cancer herself, fell on hard times and couldn’t afford to pay the $3,000-plus for Sugar’s procedure.  Alan Campbell/Richmond News

Richmond veterinarian steps up to save cancer sufferer’s dying dog

ALAN CAMPBELL RICHMOND NEWS Richmond’s Jacqui Feldman, who’s suffering from terminal cancer, is crediting a local veterinarian with saving her life. It was a few weeks ago…
Continue Reading »

An artist sketch of Yosef Jomo Gopaul, the man accused of killing hockey mom Julie Paskall. Felicity Don, Sketch

Man accused of killing Surrey hockey mom pleads guilty to lesser charge of manslaughter

JENNIFER SALTMAN VANCOUVER DESI SURREY, B.C. — A man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with the death of Surrey’s Julie Paskall, who was…
Continue Reading »

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control is looking for new immigrant women to participate in a health study.

New immigrant women sought for B.C. Centre for Disease Control health study

BURNABY NOW The B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has put out a call for Greater Vancouver women from India, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

weight-loss

Do we need to exercise more or eat less?

JILL BARKER MONTREAL GAZETTE A battle is waging in the scientific journals between several prominent health and fitness experts. In one corner are physicians Aseem Malhotra,…
Continue Reading »

exam scores

Identical twins’ mark sheets almost as identical and the story of a courageous young achiever

HINDUSTAN TIMES AND VANCOUVER DESI They are identical twins and, interestingly, even their mark sheets look almost the same. Ranchi twins Aporupa and Anorupa Chattopadhyay …
Continue Reading »

India-pharma-under scanner

U.S. lawsuit puts generic drug imports from India under scanner

IANS Washington – A U.S. class action lawsuit accusing India’s Ranbaxy of large-scale deception on its generic drug applications puts a question mark on drug…
Continue Reading »

100 year journey

Apart from the overwhelming cold, Sucha Singh Bagri has fond memories of his first few days in B.C.

SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI Sucha Singh Bagri arrived in Canada with his father Harnam Singh Bagri on Feb 2, 1935, on the Empress of Russia,…
Continue Reading »

swimsuits

Who wants to be a Princess? Beauty pageant contestants undergo rigorous training

VANCOUVER DESI Divas aspiring to become Indian Princesses are undergoing rigorous training before the grand finale of the beauty pageant in Mumbai. Indian princess pageant 2015 ◄…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Items of clothing are displayed in room 331 of the Martinez Hotel, where Parisian fashion house Elie Saab provides sartorial services to celebrities attending the 68th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Thursday, May 21, 2015. During the Cannes Film Festival, room 331 is radically transformed into a red carpet emergency room - where celebrities like Naomi Watts and Nicole Kidman can rush to if they pop out of a dress, or a zipper breaks. Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

‘Nip slips’ and broken zippers: Red carpet Emergency Room for Cannes wardrobe malfunctions always full of drama

THOMAS ADAMSON THE ASSOCIATED PRESS CANNES, France – For most of the year, room 331 of the Martinez Hotel is just your run-of-the mill luxury…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Bollywood beauty Aishwarya Rai doesn’t leave her daughter alone even for a night

HINDUSTAN TIMES Apart from walking the red carpet at Cannes Film Festival, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is also screening footage from her upcoming film, Jazbaa. The first…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Photos: Aishwarya Rai an absolute stunner at Cannes 2015 (updated)

VANCOUVER DESI Former beauty queen Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has been a Cannes regular for over a decade now. But this year marks her comeback to the…
Continue Reading »