In the days before Parwinder Kaur was doused with fuel and fatally set alight, she was optimistic about single life and was seriously considering having a baby, an inquest into her death has heard.
Parwinder wanted to show her abusive husband she could live happily alone, her sister-in-law Amanpreet Kaur told Glebe Coroners Court on Wednesday.
“She was collecting things in preparation for a child she was determined to have,” Amanpreet Kaur said.
But on the morning of December 2, 2013, Parwinder’s neighbours reported hearing a “blood-curdling scream” before seeing the 32-year-old transformed into a human “ball of fire”.
“I was out the back at my clothes line and my first thought was, ‘That scream is a scream for help,'” neighbour Lisa Flannigan said on Wednesday.
Parwinder died early the next morning, having suffered burns to almost 85 per cent of her body.
Her husband Kulwinder Singh told police there were no problems with their marriage and he had never tried to hurt her during their relationship, but Amanpreet told the inquest he had made threats.
“We have killed people, we can kill them again,” Mr Singh told his parents-in-law in 2013, Amanpreet said.
“Nobody will know where Parwinder has gone.”
About a year earlier, he had made similar threats.
“I can kill her. I can do anything with her,” Mr Singh said at Amanpreet’s home, the court heard.
Amanpreet also told the court her sister-in-law had been hit, kicked in the stomach, attacked with thongs and thrown out of her home, the court heard.
In June 2011, Mr Singh sent a text to Amanpreet and Parwinder telling his wife not to come home as he no longer had a relationship with her.
“I don’t want to see her face,” it read, Amanpreet said.
Counsel assisting, Philip Strickland SC, has told Deputy State Coroner Sharon Freund the evidence appears inconsistent with any suggestion Parwinder had set herself on fire in a bid to end her life or to attract police attention.
Parwinder worked seven days a week but all her pay went into her husband’s bank account, the court heard.
The couple began arguing when Mr Singh discovered she was keeping about $100 from each pay, thinking she was giving it to her brother.
He even threatened Parwinder’s parents during a trip to India in October 2013 and when his mother-in-law confronted him, he told her he had killed before.
Forensic specialist Rebecca Irvine said when preparing the autopsy reports, it was easier to describe the parts of her body that were not burnt, so extensive were the injuries.
As she moved across the front yard of her Rouse Hill home on fire, Mr Singh was seen running after her, patting her as if to put out the flames.
The inquest continues.