Sukhwinder Singh was one of four individuals who was working on the renovation of a house in Penrith Road, Belgrave, Leicester, on Tuesday July 2, this year. Minutes after starting work for the day a huge row erupted Sukhwinder Singh was stabbed with a six-inch dagger after verbals had been exchanged.
Solakhan Singh,39 of Constance Road, North Evington, Leicester a work colleague of Sukhwinder Singh stands accused of the murder at Leicester Crown Court. A charge Solakhan denies.
The trial has begun today at Leicester Crown Court today, Solakhan Singh was speaking through a Punjabi interpreter reports Leicestershire Live.
Outlining the case for the prosecution Pavlos Panayi QC spoke to the jury – referring to both victim and accused by their nicknames, ‘Billa’ and ‘Lumbo’ respectively, to avoid confusion.
“It should have been an ordinary day,” he said. “But between 9.12am and 9.21am something extraordinary happened.
“We can fix the time from CCTV cameras from neighbouring houses.”
- The footage shows the two men arriving for work between 8am and 9am,
- They were joined by colleagues Balvir Kumar, referred to in court as ‘Bunti’, and Ranjit Singh, who was known to the others as ‘New Boy’.
- Mr Panayi said the violent encounter occurred during a nine-minute window, with cameras showing their boss, contractor Rakesh Patel, leaving the house to drive to a builders merchants for supplies at 9.12am.
- The next thing they picked up at the property was the victim and accused’s two colleagues running from the house at 9.21am, at which point they were trying to contact their boss by phone.
“By 9.21am Billa had received a single stab wound to the chest and the two witnesses to the incident were leaving the house,” said Mr Panayi.
“The stab wound was caused by a dagger – not a kitchen knife or a work tool – a dagger.
“It had entered Billa’s chest with severe force, passing between two ribs and piercing his heart.
“The blade went all the way through and entered one of the vertebrae by 1cm. It went all the way in, 16cm (6in), to the hilt. The blade was delivered with such force that it caused a catastrophic injury.”
Mr Panayi briefly outlined the account of the violent encounter between the victim and accused given to police by the two eyewitnesses, who he said would be testifying later in the trial.
He said the defendant had taken exception to the victim “talking too loudly” and telling him to “be quiet”. This was said in an “aggressive manner”.
Billa responded by telling the accused to “mind his own business”.
The defendant then walked up to Billa, “right into his face” as if he was going to attack him.
‘He fell down and screamed’
Their work colleagues made a “half-hearted attempt to split them up” before the “scuffle” escalated dramatically.
Mr Panayi said: “Billa then struck Lumbo to the head with a spanner he’d been holding.
“He responded by lifting his leg and, in one movement, removing a dagger from his sock and plunging it into Billa’s chest.
“He fell down and screamed.”
He added: “The dagger appeared to have a black sheath that fell to the floor and was later found at the property by police.
“The defendant then started shouting loudly. He said that ‘Whoever is going to fight with me – that’s what I’m going to do to them!’.”
The two eyewitnesses managed to get through to their boss, Mr Patel, at 9.24am, and he headed straight to the house.
Mr Panayi said: “While they were doing this, what did the defendant do?
“He didn’t try to help Billa, who lay on the floor with a serious injury. He didn’t ask somebody to help or call 999.
“In fact, in the two hours between the incident and his arrest, he didn’t once phone the police or ambulance service.
“Neither did he go to hospital or a medical centre to treat his own injury.
“The prosecution suggest that he showed no regret at all for Billa, who he’d just stabbed in the chest – all he was worried about was avoiding arrest.”
The court heard that Mr Patel, in his car, came across the accused walking along Penrith Road as he arrived at the property.
When asked what had happened, he told his boss “He hit me, I did it because he hit me. He hit me on the head” before walking away.
Mr Patel parked and went into the house, where he found his employee “Face-down in a pool of blood”.
He called the ambulance service and attempted CPR until paramedics arrived and took over.
The victim, who it is understood has no close relatives in the UK, was taken to Leicester Royal Infirmary, where he was pronounced dead at 10.20am.
The defendant was arrested at a property in Norfolk Street that afternoon. The jury were told the dagger used in the attack was found by Leicestershire Police in a wheelie bin in Epsom Road, Belgrave.
It had blood on it which tests later confirmed to be that of the victim.
The prosecution allege that CCTV footage shows the defendant visiting side streets in the area and dumping a pair of latex gloves he’d been wearing, the knife and his bloodied t-shirt.
Singh is also charged with possessing a knife in a public place, which he also denies.