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UK Men Jailed For Murder Of Shopkeeper Gurmail Singh


May 8, 2010
wo men have been jailed for life for murdering a shopkeeper during a robbery at his village store in West Yorkshire.

Gurmail Singh was hit over the head with bottles of wine from the shelves of Cowcliffe Convenience Stores in Cowcliffe, Huddersfield, in February.

Huddersfield men Muawaz Khalid and Nabeel Shafi were previously convicted of murder at Bradford Crown Court.

Khalid, 20, was told he must spend at least 21 years in prison while Shafi, 18, was given a 20-year minimum term.

Khalid, of Blackmoorfoot Road, was also convicted of robbery at his trial.

As the two men were sentenced, Shafi, of Park Hill, Bradley, shouted: "That's not right. I'm innocent. I never touched anyone. You've got the wrong guy."

His supporters joined in the shouting before they left the court.

During the trial, the prosecution said Mr Singh, 63, was attacked after he refused to hand over money during the robbery.

He died in hospital the following day.
'No remorse'

The sentencing judge, Mr Justice Henriques said he accepted the murder had not been premeditated, but the attack had been carried out on a vulnerable man carrying out a public service.
Gurmail Singh Mr Singh bought Cowcliffe Convenience Stores about five years ago

He 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."

Three other Huddersfield men have also been sentenced in connection with the case.

Rehman Afzal, 18, of Jacinth Court, Fartown, was jailed for five years and four months for robbery, while Umare Aslam, 20, of Coniston Avenue, Dalton, was given a six-and-a-half year sentence for the same offence.
Continue reading the main story
“Start Quote

"Each day is a nightmare, praying that it is all a dream, knowing that it is a reality”

End Quote Jas Hayre Gurmail Singh's son

Shoaib Khan, 18, of Calton Street, Hillhouse, was sentenced to eight months for assisting an offender.

He has been released because of time already served on remand.

The court heard the shopkeeper came to England from India in 1963 and raised his family in Huddersfield. He bought the Cowcliffe shop about five years ago.

The court was read a statement by Mr Singh's youngest son, Jas Hayre, who said the murder had "completely devastated" his mother, who has terminal cancer.

The statement added: "It is the words we miss the most, words like 'work hard, be honest in your endeavours, show respect and good manners... never be afraid to stand up for your morals and principles'.

"Each day is a nightmare, praying that it is all a dream, knowing that it is a reality."

Speaking after the sentencing, Mr Singh's brother Dula Singh said: "I never saw him lose his temper, never saw him fight with anyone but he obviously must have fought to protect his property.

"We miss him everyday."



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