Grandmother gets 20 years for ‘honour killing’


LONDON — A 70-year-old grandmother was jailed for minimum of 20 years on Wednesday for the murder of her daughter-in-law whom she blamed for bringing shame on her family by seeking a divorce. Bachan Athwal wept as she was sentenced at the Old Bailey for the “honour killing” of her son’s wife, customs officer Surjit Kaur Athwal, 27.

The pensioner had vowed that a divorce would happen “over my dead body” because she thought it would disgrace their Sikh family, the court heard. Her son Sukhdave Singh Athwal, 43, was also found guilty of murder and must serve at least 27 years.

Judge Giles Forrester described the murder as “unspeakable,” saying: “This was a heinous crime characterised by great wickedness.”