I’m no hero, says NRI shopkeeper who took on robber

February 28th, 2008 - 11:39 pm ICT by admin  

London, Feb 28 (IANS) Tony Singh, the shopkeeper who has been let off after an armed robber was stabbed to death during an attack on him, says he is not a hero - rather, he feels for the robber’s family. Career criminal Liam Kilroe, out on bail, attacked Singh outside his convenience store in the town of Skemersdale in Lancashire Feb 17 and in the ensuing scuffle died after from a stab wound from his own knife.

Singh, 34, has been inundated with messages of support from ordinary Britons after police arrested him and questioned him for several hours before releasing him on bail.

Singh gave an account of what happened Feb 17 after being told Wednesday that he will not face any charges.

“I tried to get away from the attacker but was left with no option other than to defend myself. In the course of the attack I was stabbed to my head causing what could have been a life threatening injury and also repeated stab wounds to my back,” Singh said.

“In the struggle with my attacker I understand he suffered an injury but I do not know how that injury was caused. I do not want to be seen as a hero. I did no more or less than try to save my own life. I extend my sympathy to the Kilroe family, who after all have lost a son.”

He said he was “a few millimetres” from being killed in the fight, which began when Kilroe confronted Singh with a knife, smashed his car window and demanded to be handed over the day’s takings after he had closed his shop.

Ordinary Britons have continued to question the police action, saying Kilroe - a man who was facing trial for armed robbery - should not have been out on bail in the first place, and that Singh should never have been arrested.

Newspaper websites have been inundated with messages of support for Singh. One, posted in the Daily Telegraph, said the reason police and the Crown Prosecution Service had decided not to prosecute Singh was that they knew no jury would find him guilty.

Another said there would have been a “national outcry” if Singh had been charged and slammed the police for putting him through “10 days of agony”.

Nick Herbert, the shadow justice secretary, said Wednesday: “Once again this raises the question of whether the bail laws are tight enough to ensure public safety and whether the law is sufficiently on the side of innocent people who are protecting their own homes or businesses from intruders.”

In 1999, a British farmer served three years in prison after shooting dead a teenage burglar in his farm.

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