| Chohan with wife Nancy and son Devinder
London, July 1: An underworld boss was convicted at the Old Bailey today of murdering a businessman and three generations of his family for greed.
Kenneth Regan executed Amarjit Chohan and four of his relatives so he could take over his freight company and use it as a front for drug-running. He was convicted of the murders by a jury today on its 13th day of deliberations.
His accomplice, William Horncy, was also found guilty of the murders. A third man, Peter Rees, was convicted of Chohan’s murder and of assisting an offender, but cleared of the other four murder charges.
Chohan, his wife Nancy, their two young sons, Devinder and Ravinder, together with Nancy’s mother Charanjit Kaur, “disappeared” in February 2003 and were later murdered.
Chohan’s body was found floating in the sea near Bournemouth pier in April that year and his wife’s recovered in the same area in July. Kaur’s was found in November 2003 in a bay off the Isle of Wight.
The bodies of the boys are still missing.
“Some crimes are beyond belief and on any view these horrific murders fall into that category,” Richard Horwell, prosecuting, had told the court during Regan’s trial.
Regan planned to make people think Chohan, from Hounslow, West London, had given up his business and gone abroad voluntarily. The convicted drug dealer then intended to run the freight company his way, using it as a front for the importation of drugs.
Regan lured Belinda Brewin ' a friend of the late television presenter Paula Yates ' into his scheme.
Unknown to her, he used her 50-acre estate at Great Colefield House, Stoodleigh, Tiverton, Devon, to secretly bury the Chohan family.
The mass grave was dug up in April and the bodies dumped in the English Channel when Brewin became suspicious and contacted police.
After she gave evidence against Regan at his trial, Brewin received a death threat from an anonymous source, which police are currently probing.
Regan, 55, of Forge Close, Wilton, near Salisbury, Wiltshire, had denied murdering the five. He fled to Spain and then to Belgium as police moved in. He was arrested in Ghent in the August and brought back to England to stand trial.
The trial, which began last November, is believed to be one of the longest murder trials in criminal history and cost upwards of '10 million.
Assistant commissioner Tarique Ghaffur, in charge of Scotland Yard’s specialist crime directorate, said he had never come across such a tragic case in 30 years of police work.
“You have a situation that out of complete greed, criminals infiltrate a legitimate business and kill a whole family for no other purpose than to get money for themselves,” Ghaffur said.