Surrey

Sanjay Nijhawan jailed for killing wife Sonita in Weybridge

Crossfield Place
Image caption The body of Sonita Nijhawan was found in a house on a private residential street

A man who attacked his wife with an axe and knife more than 120 times after she asked for a divorce has been sentenced to life in prison.

Sonita Nijhawan, 38, was found dead at her home in Crossfield Place in Weybridge, Surrey, on 21 May.

Her husband Sanjay Nijhawan, 46, was cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter at Guildford Crown Court.

Judge Robert Fraser said he would serve at least nine years in prison.

During the trial, the court heard Nijhawan, a former banker, had been diagnosed with depression after his wife told him she wanted a divorce.

The court was told he had searched online how to commit suicide and how to identify the "soft parts of the female human skull".

He had waited for his wife to come downstairs before he attacked her.

Image caption Crossfield Place is a private road close to the gated St George's Hill estate

In a letter to the court, Nijhawan expressed his remorse.

He said: "Sonita was an amazing person who was tragically taken away by my senseless actions.

"The pain and anguish I have caused is something I'm sorry for from the bottom of my heart.

"Her memory will live on, I am sickened by my actions.''

'Replaced her rings'

During the sentencing hearing, the judge said: "It was a brutal and sustained attack.

"You and your wife had argued the day before about divorce.

"She took her rings off, you replaced them after she was dead.

"You took her phone from her, clearly to stop her from using it to tell her family about the divorce.

"My conclusion is there is a significant risk of causing serious harm to the public, in particular any future intimate partners."

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