London: A 29-year-old Sikh man in the UK was on Friday sentenced to life for murdering his step grandfather by assaulting him so brutally that it resulted in 41 fractures to his ribs, a fractured skull and severe brain damage.
Sukhraj Singh Atwal, of Derby, was told it would be 20 years until he is eligible to apply for parole after a jury at at the Nottingham Crown Court found him guilty of murdering his step-grandfather Satnam Singh, the father of his mother’s ex-husband.
The motive for the murder was a “long-running and acrimonious” family feud. Atwal attacked Singh as he walked from his home, in Princes Street, Derby, to open his local Gurdwara, in the same street on July 23, 2015.The prosecution told the trial that Atwal inflicted a “frenzied, savage and sustained” attack on the grandfather before driving off and leaving him for dead, the Derby Telegraph reported. His trial, which lasted almost three weeks at Nottingham Crown Court, heard how the 74-year-old was found unconscious yards from his home which is also on Princes Street.
Singh suffered 41 fractures to his chest, lacerations to his heart and “blunt force trauma” to his body. His injuries were so severe that it was believed that he died as a result of a hit and run. But a Home Office pathologist later confirmed that Singh had died as a result of an attack.
When Gordon Aspden, prosecuting, opened the case at the start of the trial almost three weeks ago he told the jury, “The medical evidence is consistent with someone who’d had someone stamping and jumping on his face and chest repeatedly.”
“Make no mistake, this was a savage, frenzied and sustained assault that was driven home with real venom,” Aspden had said. Singh died at the Royal Derby Hospital on the day of the attack. Sentencing Atwal, Judge Gregory Dickenson said, “You attacked Satnam Singh as he walked from his home to the local Gurdwara. It was, I am sorry to say, a brutal and merciless assault.”
“You left him for dead, like a bag of rubbish on the ground which some passers-by thought him to be. You did nothing to assist, nothing to raise the alarm, not even an anonymous 999 call,” the judge was quoted as saying.
“There is nothing to suggest even the slightest degree of provocation on the part of Satnam Singh. You have shown no remorse,” he said. “You did nothing to raise the alarm. The minimum term you must serve before you can be eligible for parole is 20 years,” he added. The family of Singh said they were distraught to lose “such a loved and valued member of the family” but said justice had been done.
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