3 Apr 2012

Man who set fire to wife jailed at least 14 years

10:48 pm on 3 April 2012

A man who set fire to his wife and killed her on a roadside in Waikato has been jailed for a minimum of 14-and-a-half years.

Diwesh Sharma, 30, pleaded guilty to the charge of murder in February this year and was sentenced in the Hamilton High Court on Tuesday.


Police say Ranjeeta Sharma, 28, was still alive when her husband poured fuel over her and set her alight beside a rural road near Huntly in January 2011 where her body was found.

Sharma then took the couple's four-year-old son and flew to Fiji where he was arrested soon afterwards. The boy was in the car at the time of the murder.

The court heard that after eight years of marriage, the couple's relationship had started to break down.

About a month before she was killed, Sharma was served with a temporary protection order relating to his wife and son.

Justice Andrews said she could not imagine a more cruel way to commit murder.

After the sentencing, Ranjeeta Sharma's cousin Janice Sharan said she hopes anyone in a domestic violence situation will seek immediate help.

"We sincerely hope that any woman or man in a domestic violence situation will seek help immediately, so that no one else has to suffer the tragic fate of Ranjeeta and that no other family has to go through the pain and torment of having lost a loved-one in such a brutal way."