Leicester

Body in suitcase murder: Ex-wife 'kicked and hit' accused

Kiran Daudia Image copyright Leicestershire Police
Image caption Kiran Daudia was 46 when she died and had two sons, then aged 17 and 25

A man has described how he stuffed his ex-wife's body in a suitcase when she died following a violent struggle.

Ashwin Daudia claims he "lost control" after Kiran Daudia kicked him in the "urine area", repeatedly hit him, shouted and swore at him.

The suitcase - with the body inside it - was still at their home in Leicester when their youngest son returned from college, he told Leicester Crown Court.

Mr Daudia, 51, of Lyme Road, Leicester, denies murder.

Image caption The suitcase containing Kiran Daudia's body was found in Cromer Street on 17 January last year

Describing the struggle with the help of a Gujarati interpreter, he told the court: "Still she was talking, she was kicking me, then I lost control of my anger and two or three times I banged her on the banister."

Mary Prior QC, defending, asked him to demonstrate where he banged her on the banister and he gestured to his own forehead, chin and neck.

"I pressed very hard on her neck with both hands," he said.

He demonstrated a gripping motion to show his thumbs were on the back of her neck and his fingers were around the front.

'She was hung'

"Then her scarf had come off from her neck, then I twisted the scarf on here [pointing at a photo of the banister], in the corner where the pole is," he said.

"With my knee I pushed her down and I kept holding her very tightly and the scarf was wrapped around as well.

"With my knee I pushed her so she went down a little. She fell half down, so she was like hung."

Image caption Police searched the area for evidence after the death in January 2017

Mrs Prior asked: "So her legs were going down the stairs?"

He replied: "Yes."

"Then [her] talking stopped, then I left her," he continued.

He said he went to his room and only realised his ex-wife was dead when he came out a short while later, after putting on a jumper so he could go outside.

When asked how he felt, he said: "I became very agitated. I was very scared as to what I should do."

Put in suitcase

The youngest of the couple's two sons, Shivam, then aged 17, was due to come home from college.

"I was thinking 'What shall I do? What shall I do? If Shivam comes he will see and he will get scared'," Mr Daudia said.

He went and fetched his wife's suitcase but it was a "little bit small", he said, so he used his own, which was larger.

He removed her boots and tied her wrists and ankles together using cable ties, he told the court.

"I thought if I were to put her in [the suitcase] and if the hands or legs were to come out then someone would see it," he explained.

Image caption A couple living in Cromer Street found the suitcase with the body inside it

He started cleaning the house and then their son came home.

The suitcase was later dumped between wheelie bins in a passageway in nearby Cromer Street, where it was found by two residents on the morning of 17 January.

The trial has heard how the couple had an arranged marriage in India in 1988, but divorced in 2014.

They continued to live together, but Mr Daudia was due to move out around the time of the death as the house was being sold to Ms Daudia's sister.

The trial continues.

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