Shopkeeper Tony Singh not to face murder charge

February 27th, 2008 - 8:23 pm ICT by admin  


London, Feb 27 (IANS) Ethnic Indian shopkeeper and local hero Tony Singh was Wednesday told that he will not face a murder charge after a career criminal who tried to rob him was stabbed to death with his own knife. Said Detective Superintendent Mick Gradwell: “This was a violent attack on Mr Singh by a convicted armed robber. My recommendation was that Mr Singh should not be prosecuted and I am pleased that the Crown Prosecution Service has agreed with that.”

Singh, 34, feared he could face a murder charge after career criminal Liam Kilroe was killed trying to rob the British Indian shopkeeper Feb 17 - just five days after police had issued a warrant on Kilroe.

Singh, who owns a convenience store in Skemersdale, a small town in Lancashire, was arrested but later released on bail.

Singh told the local Skemersdale Advertiser newspaper: “It is a big burden that has been lifted, but on the other hand the memory of what happened will live with me forever.

“It will always be there, I will be watching it replay in my mind and it is something I’ll have to live with for the rest of my life.”

Singh, who suffered knife injuries to his head during the attack and needed hospital treatment, has become a local hero for standing up to an attacker in a country where violent crime routinely captures newspaper headlines.

Singh escaped the fate of Tony Martin, a Norfolk farmer who served three years in prison after shooting dead a teenager burglar in his farm in 1999.

The opposition Conservative Party has called for a review of the law covering self-defence.

The current law permits people to use “reasonable force” to defend themselves and others. However, critics claim it is weighted in favour of the criminal.

Shailesh Vara, the Conservative Party deputy leader in parliament, recently criticised the government’s failure to amend legislation in favour of citizens who defend themselves against attack.

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