May 21 2013 Latest news:
Robin Cottle and Julia Gregory, Reporter
Friday, February 24, 2012
Two men have been found guilty by an Old Bailey jury of beating Bexleyheath TV executive Gagandip Singh unconscious and leaving him to die in a burning car.
Prosecutors said 21-year-old Mr Singh’s killers had decided to “play God” after he tried to rape medical student Mundill Mahil six months before he died.
Mahil lured Mr Singh down to her university house in Brighton in February last year, where he was set upon by Harvinder Shoker and Darren Peters.
The two men viciously beat Mr Singh, bundled him into the boot of a car and drove it to Blackheath, south east London, where they set it alight.
Today Shoker was found guilty of murder by a majority verdict of 10-2 by a jury at the Old Bailey.
Peters was found guilty of manslaughter, and Mundill of causing grievous bodily harm. The trio will be sentenced on Wednesday.
Screaming and crying could be heard coming from the public gallery as Shoker was found guilty.
The body of the TV executive was discovered by firefighters in the boot of a burning Mercedes in Angerstein Lane in Blackheath on February 26 last year.
The 21-year-old, who lived in Langdale Crescent in Bexleyheath, was a director of the Sikh TV channel and was also studying business and human resources at Greenwich University.
His death was a double tragedy for the family as his father had been murdered in an apparent contract killing in India just two years before and he had taken over his role as head of the family.
During the two and a half month trial the prosecution alleged that medical student Mahil, of Chatham, had lured Mr Singh to the basement room of her university flat in Brighton after he tried to rape her when the relationship broke down.
The prosecution said her co-defendants Peters, 20, of Kidbrooke, and Shoker, also 20, of Charlton, were waiting for Mr Singh and attacked him, before beating him uncouncious, wrapping his body in a duvet and dumping it in the Mercedes and setting fire to the car in a side street in Blackheath.
Hundreds of mourners turned out to join a candlelit vigil after Mr Singh’s body was discovered.
He was an active member of the Sikh community and attended the Gurdwara Sahib temple in Woolwich.
The manager of Sikh TV Gursavek Singh described him as a promising businessman.
He said: “He never got into arguments, he’s more of a person who would help other people.”
He added: “He was very respected in the community and had many businesses at the age of 21. This was just the start of his career and he was a potential politician.”
As well as his interests in television Mr Singh ran two recruitment agencies, including The Super Service Co in Plumstead and was also the president of the Sikh Student Federation.