When the police officers walked into the tenement flat in Woodlands Drive, Charing Cross, Glasgow they were greeted by a scene of unimaginable horror.

The walls and furnishings were covered with blood and on the floor lay a young pregnant Asian woman, Rajwinder Bassi, who had been stabbed and slashed at least 30 times.

A cross had been carved into her back while her head was almost severed where she had been cut at the throat.

READ MORE: The story of miscarriage of justice victim Stuart Gair and murder of Peter Smith in Glasgow

Glasgow Times:

A picture of a pregnant woman

As the woman lay dying her killer or killers then continued the frenzied attack, stabbing her repeatedly in the back to get at the unborn baby.

The shocked officers who found Rajwinder's body wondered who could have carried out such a dreadful crime.

Pathologist Jeanette McFarlane would later tell the murder trial jury: "I have never seen injuries like that before."

Rajwinder, 32, had only been in Scotland for a year after moving from the Punjab in India to make a new and better life for herself.

However, on that day April 13, 1998, all those dreams were extinguished in a frenzied attack that killed both mother and unborn child.

Rajwinder, also known as Rani, was married to Harbej Bassi, owner of The Royal Ashoka restaurant in Bridge of Allan, Stirlingshire.

This was 36-year-old Harbej's second marriage and suspicion fell on him at first.

However, he had a solid alibi, having been working in The Royal Ashoka, on the night of the murder with plenty of eyewitnesses.

The focus on the police inquiry then turned to his ex-wife Gurmit Bassi.

READ MORE: Glasgow Crime Stories: Horrific 1998 murder of a sex worker Margo Lafferty

Detectives discovered Indian-born Harbej had married Gurmit in the 1980s and they had two sons together.

Gurmit, 33, suffered badly from suffered from depression which required hospital treatment and they later divorced.

After the divorce, Harbej met and married his second wife Rajwinder, in Punjab in l997.

Detectives now began to suspect that this had been a deranged crime of passion.

Particularly when it emerged that Harbej had been sleeping with both women.

His first wife in her home in Cambuslang, and his new wife in their flat in Woodlands Drive, the scene of the murder.

When Rajwinder fell pregnant he told Gurmit that their relationship was finally over.

Detectives also wondered if that had finally pushed her over the edge.

Around 9.30 pm on the night of the murder, her older son Steven, 14, was at home when his mother phoned him.

He and his younger brother had moved into Woodlands Drive with their dad and step mum only weeks earlier.

Bassi asked him to come down to the street and bring the house keys with him.

On the pavement, he met his mother with a mystery man Bassi told Steven to wait as she went up to the flat with the stranger.

Unbelievably she told her son she had paid the man £1000 to kill Rajwinder's unborn baby.

She also told the teenager that his father really loved her and would want this to happen.

After speaking with Steven detectives arrested his mother. Now they needed her mystery accomplice.

In Cambuslang, Gurmit Bassi had quite openly been asking men to carry out a hit job and kill a woman.

Finally, they traced the male with her that night.

He was 25-year-old local lad Christopher Jones a former butcher who now worked in a local general store.

Bassi had asked him to be her accomplice and he had agreed.

During the police interview, Jones denied any knowledge of the murder or involvement.

However, his girlfriend said Jones came home with blood on both hands on the night of the murder.

When she asked what had happened, he said he told he had been in a street fight with two men.

She didn't believe him and told the police about her suspicions.

Gurmit Bassi and Christopher Jones appeared for trial at the High Court in Glasgow in December 1998 charged with murdering Rajwinder who had been 33 weeks pregnant at the time.

In the court every day was Rajwinder's mother, Mrs Gurdev Kaur, 65, who simply sat and watched in silence having flown 400 miles from India.

She would later tell the judge,:''I want to see the face of the woman who murdered my daughter.''

Both Bassi and Jones pleaded not guilty and both would end up claiming the other did it.

Gurmit even said that her ex-husband had hired Jones as the hitman.

Jones admitted that he was in the murder flat that night, but that it was Gurmit who had brutally killed Rajwinder.

He also insisted he was unaware of any murder plot and claimed that his clothes had only became covered in blood after he fell beside the dying woman.

But medical evidence showed that injuries to Jones's hands could only have been made with a knife used in violence.

The evidence of a next-door neighbour who heard shouting that night from the flat was crucial to the prosecution case against Jones.

She heard Rajwinder shout"Leave me alone, you dog!" in Punjabi. In her native language the phrase "you dog" is only ever male.

Asked by Advocate-depute Samuel Cathcart, prosecuting, if the shouted phrase applied to both males and females, the witness said: ''No, only males.''

When young Steven was called to the stand he understandably gave conflicting evidence in the witness box.

He changed his story and claimed that Jones had gone into the flat alone.

Steven then admitted that wasn't the case and his mother had gone into the flat with Jones.

The youngster broke down as he recalled his mother telling him she was giving Jones the £1000 to get rid of his stepmother's baby.

Also central to the prosecution case was the date of the murder.

Rajwinder had been slain on the Sikh holy day of Vaisakhi, an important religious festival.

Gurmit would have known that potential witnesses in the Woodlands area, including neighbours and other family members, would have been at the local Sikh temple when she and Jones arrived at the flat.

She also knew her former husband was at work and unlikely too return home unexpectedly.

Though a complex story had unfolded in court of revenge, claim and counterclaim it did not fool the jury.

They found Bassi and Jones guilty of the horrific murder after a four-week trial and both were sentenced to life imprisonment.

Bassi's defence lawyer, Gordon Jackson, said she was under pressure due to her divorce and the continuing sexual relationship with her husband.

Glasgow Times:

Mr Donald Findlay, QC, for Jones, said he was an immature young man susceptible to exploitation and had never been in trouble before.

However, the pleas in mitigation for their clients fell on deaf ears as far as the trial judge was concerned.

Both accused were given the mandatory life sentences.

Bassi was also ordered to serve a minimum of 14 years before she could be considered for parole - one of the longest ever sentences for a female killer in Scotland.

Before sentencing, Lord Marnoch told Bassi:"Your crime was one which turns the stomach of every decent citizen.

"By any standards this was a most brutal murder of a woman whose only offence was to marry the former husband of you, Bassi, and its brutality was made all the worse by the fact the deceased was carrying an unborn child of 33 weeks."

Jones's older brother Charlie, 35, who then managed the Sun Inn bar in Cambuslang, had wept in court as the verdicts were read out.

Later, he said:"Christopher has been dragged into this because he is so immature for his age.

"He was simply brought under a spell by this evil woman and because of that he's going to prison.

"I still cannot believe how this whole thing has developed. There is no way we believe that Christopher could be capable of such a crime."

The ex husband Harbhej Bassi also spoke of his relief after the verdict.

He said: "Even when she was sick I never thought Gurmit would actually do something like this.

" I really don't know what was going on in her mind.

"The jury's verdict clears my name of allegations made that I somehow had something to do with the murder."

After the trial, Harbej Bassi took his two sons to live in Bridge of Allan.

His adopted city now held too many painful and difficult memories.