14th March 2016 was the fateful day that the Ghuman family in Queensland never thought they would see. Manraj Singh Ghuman has described to the court witnessing her drunk father stab her mother to death and recounting how she was injured herself when she tried to intervene.
Manraj Singh Ghuman told the court she found her father, Balwinder Singh Ghuman, red-eyed and slurring his words, and that a dispute broke out when she and her mother Manjinderjit Ghuman tried to evict Mr Ghuman.
Ms Ghuman said her father became enraged, grabbed a kitchen knife and followed his fleeing wife into their Gordonvale backyard where he fatally stabbed her neck, head and chest.
Ms Ghuman was wounded in the face when she tried to intervene.
The court heard Manjinderjit Ghuman called: “Dad, save me” and that her father, Sarwan Johal, also attempted to intervene, before being stabbed by Mr Ghuman.
It was also alleged that Mr Ghuman’s mother-in-law, Sukhwinder Johal, was then fatally stabbed when she walked over from the house next door, where she was living, to see what was happening.
Mr Ghuman pleaded not guilty to the murder of his wife and mother-in-law, the attempted murder of his father-in-law, and wounding of his daughter.
Prosecutor Nathan Crane said the crown would argue the events followed a series of incidents of domestic unrest within the family.
Ms Ghuman told the court her father had been drinking heavily and was constantly arguing with his mother in the lead-up to the event.
“He would just say, ‘your f***ing family has destroyed my life’,” Ms Ghuman told the court.
Accused ‘blacked out and can’t remember’
In his opening statement, defence counsel Anthony Glynn QC said his client admitted his actions led to the deaths and injuries inflicted on his family and parents-in-law.
Police and ambulance vehicles in a suburban street
PHOTO: The attacks prompted a massive emergency response. (ABC News)
But Mr Glynn said the prosecution would need to prove that Mr Ghuman not only caused the deaths, but did so with intent, to prove their case for murder.
“A significant issue in this trial is whether Mr Ghuman is criminally responsible for causing the deaths and the injury to his daughter,” Mr Glynn said.
He said a psychiatric expert would argue that Mr Ghuman was suffering from acute paranoid schizophrenia, which had affected his behaviour, decision-making and judgment in the years prior to the fatal incident.
He said Mr Ghuman abused alcohol to cope with psychosis, and that on the night in question had drunk enough alcohol to black out.
“His next memory is of him being at the police station,” Mr Glynn said.
The trial is set to conclude on Friday this week
News Report From The Time Of The Event