A Vernon man has been sentenced to five years in jail for helping his brother escape police after he murdered the accused’s wife in 1986.
Paramjit Singh Bogarh pleaded guilty to accessory to murder after the fact in a Kelowna Supreme courtroom Thursday. The Crown told the court Bogarh made “misleading statements” to police in a successful attempt to help his brother, Narinder Singh Bogarh, flee the country after the killing Bogarh’s wife, Saminder, in Vernon.
The murder of Saminder took place on New Year’s Eve, 1986. She was found in the couple’s home with numerous fatal stab wounds. The couple’s two-year-old son was in the house at the time.
Bogarh was extradited from California back to B.C. in May 2018. Narinder is still at large and believed to be in India.
Bogarh was extradited on charges of first degree murder and conspiring to commit murder, along with Narinder. Bogarh was scheduled to stand trial for those charges on Monday, but the case was adjourned due to an expected plea bargain.
Bogarh has three years to his credit for time spent in custody, meaning Thursday’s sentence will land him two additional years in jail.
Paramjit Singh Bogarh, who along with his brother is accused of the first-degree murder of his wife in 1987, has pled guilty to assisting his brother's escape from the country.
— Michael Rodriguez (@MichaelRdrguez) March 5, 2020
In its statement of agreed facts, the Crown said Bogarh had falsely claimed to police that Saminder’s murderer had been a white man, and during the course of his statements his brother was able to board a plane out of Canada.
Following Bogarh’s guilty plea, the court heard the victim impact statements of five of Saminder’s relatives. The harrowing accounts started with her son.
“All my life I did not get to know my own mother, the person who brought me into this world,” he said in an emotional testimony. “Everything about her has always been a mystery to me.”
Saminder’s son talked about being afraid to be alone as a child, thinking his mother’s killers would come for him as the only witness of the murder.
“They killed a helpless 26-year-old woman while their child was present. What would stop these evil, heartless killers from doing the same to me?”
Saminder’s brother, sister and two nieces also took the stand to describe the impact her death has caused their family.
Bogarh’s sentence was given Thursday afternoon after a joint submission from Crown and defence.. Bogarh had no comment to offer upon sentencing.