Prabjot Singh Rayat murder trial: Accused woman from Belvedere weeps in court

This Is Local London: Prabjot Singh Rayat from Bexleyheath was found with his throat slit in his office in Thamesmead Prabjot Singh Rayat from Bexleyheath was found with his throat slit in his office in Thamesmead

A WOMAN accused of killing Bexleyheath resident Prabjot Singh Rayat wept hysterically in court as her trial for murder got under way.

Surinder Chana, aged 44, from Lower Park Road, Belvedere, is accused of murdering Mr Rayat at the Crown Industrial Estate in Thamesmead on June 8 last year.

The 54-year-old father of three, of Pickford Lane, Bexleyheath, was found with his throat slit in the office of his car repair service, Rayat Autos.

As proceedings began at Wood Green Crown Court this morning, Chana burst into tears before Judge Nicholas Browne threw her out of court.

Robert Burrows, 33, who lived with Chana, and Clifford Collins, 40, of Mounts Road, Greenhithe, are also accused of murder.

Today the court heard how Mr Rayat was found with bruising to his arms and legs while a gold watch was missing along with money from his office safe.

Brendan Finucane, prosecuting, told the court that CCTV footage showed Mr Rayat met Chana and Collins at the rear entrance of the estate at 1.45am, and walked them to the office while Burrows waited in a vehicle nearby.

Jurors were then told a second visit was made by the trio shortly after 3.30am.

Mr Finucane said Chana entered the office with Mr Rayat before being joined by Burrows and Collins, who were both wearing hoodies.

Mr Rayat is seen at one point with an arm around his neck - thought to be that of Burrows.

But the court heard how a police statement from Collins claims Burrows "ran at him (Mr Rayat) and put a screwdriver to his throat."

However, according to a post-mortem examination, a much sharper object must have caused the fatal wound.

Mr Finucane told jurors the trio were then seen "rushing away" from the scene.

He said: "An employee found his (Mr Rayat's) body the following morning. Mr Rayat's head was resting on a jacket. There was a white towel, heavily bloodstained, nearby.

"Mr Rayat's son, Ricky, came to the garage later. He noticed that his father's gold watch had been taken. He believed more money had been taken, as Mr Rayat would often have a considerable amount of cash on him.

"Coins were found near the body. The pockets of his trousers had been turned out. The DNA of Mr Burrows was found on one of the pockets."

No weapons were found at the scene.

All three defendants deny murder as well as a separate charge of conspiracy to rob.

The trial continues.

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