Man jailed for revenge burglary and arson attack after arranged marriage dispute

A brother who was angry at the breakdown of his sister’s marriage took his revenge when he burgled her ex’s family home and set fire to clothing, Lincoln Crown Court was told.

Sanjeev Heera stole thousands of pounds worth of jewellery and caused more than £30,000 worth of damage during the incident at the home of the Dhindsa family at Reepham, near Lincoln.

Phil Howes, prosecuting, said that Heera carried out the raid after discovering from Facebook that the other family were away at a wedding and he knew their home would be empty.

He then drove from his home in the West Midlands to Lincolnshire and after ringing the bell to check no-one was at home he climbed over a gate and smashed a kitchen window to get in.

Inside he stole gold jewellery worth £12,000 and then set fire to clothing on the landing. Before leaving he turned on the electrical appliances including the oven, grill and hot plate.

The householders returned home just before 11pm to discover the break-in and then found the burned clothing. The carpet was badly scorched and the property was smoke-damaged.

Mr Howes told the court that the dispute arose following the arranged marriage between Sanjeev Heera’s sister Manjit and Jaspaul Dhindsa.

The couple wed in Las Vegas in September 2012 and initially lived at the property in Reepham only for the marriage to break down and be annulled the following summer.

A dispute arose between the families as to who was to blame and the Heera family requested the return of jewellery given as a dowry.

Mr Howes said: “The families appeared to point the blame at each other. It led to an issue over the defendant’s sister’s jewellery which was given to the Dhindsa family. It was a time of bitterness.”

The prosecutor said that Sanjeev Heera went on to target the Dhindsa’s home in an act of revenge.

Sanjeev Heera, 34, of Walsall, West Midlands, admitted charges of arson and burglary arising from the incident on August 11, 2013. He was jailed for three years.

Judge Michael Heath, passing sentence, told him: “This case arises against the background of an ill-fated marriage of your sister into the Dhindsa family and its aftermath.

“This was a very serious incident indeed. There was an element of revenge. You took the law into your own hands.”

Sean Sidhu-Bar, in mitigation, said the marriage breakdown had a “terrible impact” on Heera’s family who felt that it had brought shame and dishonour on them.

He said that there was bitterness that high value jewellery, which belonged to the bride, had not been returned to her when the marriage ended.

Mr Sidhu-Brar said the problems between the families played on the mind of Heera and when he read on Facebook that the Dhindsas were going to a wedding he decided to travel to Lincoln.

“He went with the intention to take that which, rightly or wrongly, he believed belonged to his sister. He is very remorseful and ashamed of what he has done.”