The trial of a 37-year-old Punjabi woman, accused of killing her mother-in-law with a rolling pin, was stopped by the judge after the interpreter confessed half an hour later that he was a fake and filling in for his busy wife.
Rajvinder Kaur has been sentenced to life imprisonment. She would have to serve a minimum term of 11 years for battering her mother-in-law Baljit Kaur Buttar to death at her home in Southampton in February last year, the Daily Mail reported Saturday.
The judge halted the trial when the court realised interpreter Mubarak Lone was leaving out key words and phrases in his translating.
Lone was interpreting for Kaur's husband, Iqbal Singh, who spoke Punjabi. He struggled to even get the oath right for the Sikh witness at the Winchester Crown Court in Hampshire.
The fake interpreter was finally caught by junior counsel Sukhdev Garcha, who also spoke Punjabi, half an hour into the trial.
Lone confessed that he was not a qualified translator and was awaiting the results of his interpreter test.
He later revealed that his wife - the actual interpreter - was busy and he had come to do her job instead.
Defence barrister Jonathan Fuller said Lone wrongly translated words, such as saying "bitter" instead of "irritable" and "Allah" instead of "one god".