Two get life for killing Indian-origin man in Britain

November 17th, 2010 - 7:05 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Nov 17 (IANS) Two men in Britain were jailed for life for the gruesome murder of an Indian-origin man during a botched robbery at his shop, a media report said Wednesday.

Gurmail Singh, 63, was battered to death with wine bottles from his shelves for just a few pounds, some sweets, alcohol and cigarettes at his shop in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, in February, the Daily Mail reported.

He came to Britain from India in 1963 and raised his family in Huddersfield. He bought the Cowcliffe shop about five years ago.

Muawaz Khalid, 20, was told he must spend at least 21 years in prison by a judge at Bradford Crown Court. Nabeel Shafi, 18, who protested his innocence as he was led from the dock, was given a 20-year minimum term.

The judge, Justice Henriques, said: “This was a most violent and sickening attack by at least two of you on a lone shopkeeper late at night.”

“It is to be regretted that no defendant at any time during the eight-week trial showed the slightest remorse.”

The judge said the victim’s skull had been shattered into little pieces by the force of the blows.

“One blow would have disabled him, seven blows took his life away,” he said.

“There may have been mental or physical suffering inflicted on the victim before death, in the sense this was a sickeningly violent and unnecessarily savage assault on a man in his 60s,” the judge observed.

The jury heard how members of the public came to Singh’s aid. One man trapped two members of the gang inside by holding the door shut but they got out of a back door after desperate attempts to smash their way out of the front, prosecutors said.

In July, six months after Singh’s death, his sons Bobby and Jas Hayre reopened the shop after a full refit.

After the trial, Singh’s family revealed that the Prince of Wales had written a letter to his widow, expressing his sympathy.

Gang member Rehman Afzal, 18, was sentenced to five years and four months for his part in the robbery. Umare Aslam, 20, received a six-and-a-half-year sentence for robbery.

Shoaib Khan, 18, received an eight-month sentence for assisting an offender but will be released because of time already served on remand.

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