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Thursday 27 June 2013 Updated: 27/06 15:47
A PRACTISING pagan murdered his partner's dad before dumping the remains in woodland he used for regular rituals.
David Novakovic King, of Middleborough Crescent, Radford, even hid tools in Wainbody Wood - the patch of land where he buried the remains of Hiralal Chauhan.
He faces a life sentence after being found guilty of murder earlier today (Thursday) at Leamington Justice Centre. Police said the 44-year-old, who will be sentenced tomorrow, had thought he carried out the perfect murder before a determined investigation by officers.
Father of two Mr Chauhan, 57, had been reported missing from his Radford home three years before a dog walker discovered a partial human skeleton in the woods, off Stoneleigh Road, in February last year.
A pathologist was unable to find how he was killed but there is evidence the body may have been decapitated before being buried in the woodland grave.
The court heard King carried out the murder after stealing and spending Mr Chauhan's £22,000 inheritance fund on an expensive cruise and trips to antique fairs.
King, whose partner was Mr Chauhan's daughter Bhavna, had helped him receive cash in his mother's will but went on to make regular withdrawals and spent all but 78p of the fund in just two months.
In May 2009, Mr Chauhan was so broke he had asked a barman at his local pub if he could ‘borrow’ a pint.
And the prosecution alleged he was killed after wanting the return of his bank card and because King could not allow him to discover the truth.
Mr Chauhan, also known as Chips, was well known in the Keresley area of the city and enjoyed talking to his neighbours, particularly about football. He was described as having learning difficulties and rarely left Coventry but travelled to the city centre on most days.
Brother Mahesh Chauhan said his family was happy and relieved with the verdict.
"This will now bring closure to the family, with the hope we can lay our brother to rest.
"We are deeply saddened that Hiralal’s life was bought to a sudden end and that someone so close to Hiralal took advantage of his vulnerability for financial gain.
"We are very grateful to the police for their hard work, professionalism and dedication shown throughout the investigation and the support they have provided to us as a family."
DI Stuart Bell, who investigated the initial disappearance, said: "King had seized an opportunity to steal a large amount of money from a vulnerable man who I believe had little understanding of the value of money.
"A combination of determined investigation and cooperation from witnesses resulted in a mass of evidence showing that King manipulated and exploited Hiralal Chauhan for financial gain."
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