An Indian-origin man, spurned by the girl he loved as a teenager, has been jailed for 23 years after he tried to murder his ex-fiancee and her lover in a brutal knife attack, media reported.
Bharat Soma, 26, slashed the throats of Darshana Narotam, 17, and Prashant Govinde, 22, in broad daylight on a busy city street in Leicester, out of “revenge”, the Leicester Mercury reported Wednesday.
Soma was found guilty Tuesday by a Leicester crown court jury of attempting to murder the couple, who eloped from their homes in Wembley in London to live in Leicester.
After the sentencing, Soma raised his clasped hands in a praying gesture, and bowed to the judge and the jury in an expression of remorse.
Soma, of North Evington, Leicester, was also convicted by a jury of unlawfully wounding a 15-year-old boy who was with the couple when they were attacked Jan 19.
“The attack was intended by Soma to be a cold-blooded murder, committed to prevent Darshana from marrying anyone else,” high court judge Justice Saunders said while announcing the sentence,
“He grabbed hold of Darshana Narotam round the neck and while holding her from behind, he slit her throat from one side to the other with a knife.”
“He stabbed Prashant Govinde through the neck with the same knife, pushing the knife right through his neck from front to back.”
The judge said the couple and the boy, who sustained a bad cut on his hand, disarmed the defendant.
The attack took place on a busy road in Leicester on a Sunday afternoon when there were people in the area.
“Fortunately, the police were on the scene very quickly and took appropriate steps to stem the two victims’ bleeding, which was considerable,” the judge said.
“They cared for the wounded until an ambulance arrived to take them to hospital,” the judge observed.
He said both he and the jury “were impressed with the efficient, calm and highly professional way in which the police carried out their duty”.
“Because the police were carrying cameras, which recorded what was happening, we saw some very shocking scenes but it brought home to us the true nature of these events.”
Bharat Soma was engaged to be married to Darshana Narotam, which was arranged by her parents, the judge said adding: “I’m satisfied Darshana never willingly agreed to it.”
Darshana ran away with Prashant Jan 10 this year, intending to marry him and not Soma.
When Soma discovered that Darshana was not going to marry him he became very upset.
“I accept it may be that he was in love with her and developed a fixation about her, but I don’t believe he ever had grounds for believing Darshana was in love with him.”
Soma said in evidence he had wanted to marry Darshana since she was 11, although they did not meet until she was 16 after they became engaged.
After Prashant and Darshana were seen out on the street in Leicester by a family friend Jan 19, he informed Soma.
He bought a knife and went around the streets looking for Darshana so that he could kill her.
The judge said when Soma found her at East Park Road’s junction he launched the attack.
Justice Saunders added: “Immediately after the attack, Soma was repeating ‘my wife, my wife’.”
The defendant told the police he lost his mind because he believed that a curse had been put on him.
The judge said he was not imposing a life sentence, because of Soma’s previous good character.