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HindustanTimes Sat,12 Jul 2014

Slain Singh sibling Neelma 'belted by mother' after baking cake for accused murderer Max Sica

Mark Oberhardt  Brisbane, April 20, 2012
First Published: 17:30 IST(20/4/2012) | Last Updated: 18:02 IST(20/4/2012)

Murder victim Neelma Singh was once allegedly assaulted by her mother because she had given her now accused killer Max Sica a banana cake, a court heard yesterday as reported by Courier Mail. A Supreme Court jury in Brisbane heard a series of tape-recorded interviews between detectives and Sica at the Petrie police station on March 31, 2004. Sica, 42, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Neelma Singh, 24, Kunal Singh, 18, and Sidhi Singh, 12, at Bridgeman Downs, on April 21, 2003.

Detectives were questioning Sica about his relationship with various members of the Singh family when he recalled Shirley had assaulted Neelma who had bruises and clumps of hair pulled out. He said he believed the reason was that Neelma had given him a "banana cake" in August 2002. Sica said he went near the Singh house to pick up Neelma and Sidhi and took them to a relative's place after the incident.

The court has heard the Singh parents had wanted Neelma to stay away from Sica after they found out she had secretly returned from Dubai to stay with him.

Lead officer Detective Sergeant Joe Zitny also asked Sica what he meant when he had emailed Neelma, who was on a flight attendant's course in Dubai in early 2002, saying he (Sica) would risk it all to travel overseas to see her. Sica replied he was on parole at the time.

Earlier, Sica admitted he was the chatroom caller identified as "Chocolate Flake Lover" who had an argument with Sonia Pathik, the elder sister of the murdered Singh siblings.

Det Zitny read a transcript of a chatroom discussion between "Chocolate Flake Lover" and Ms Pathik.

She called Sica a control freak and told him to leave her family alone, while Sica told Ms Pathik she was the control freak. Sica said Ms Pathik hated him perhaps because he rejected her advances. Det Zitny asked Sica when was the last time he spoke with Ms Pathik before he found the Singh siblings' bodies on April 22, 2003.

Sica said it would have been before he broke up with Neelma in February 2003. Det Zitny asked Sica why there was a four-second phone call from the Sica family home at Stafford to Ms Pathik's work number at 10.03am on April 22, 2003 - the day Sica found the bodies.

Sica said he was probably ringing to check if Sonia was at work so he could take his children to the Singh house to see Neelma.

Det Zitny also asked Sica about two emails sent to a large number of Singh family and friends - one claiming Ms Pathik was a 'swinger' and another in which Ms Pathik allegedly claimed she liked oral sex.

Police were able to trace the two emails to a man who Sica had helped set up his computer. The trial before Justice John Byrne continues.

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