Leicester Mercury

‘Unknown attacker’ slashed man’s throat


- By SUZY GIBSON suzanne.gibson@reachplc.com @GibsonSuzy

A MAN accused of trying to kill his friend during a birthday celebratio­n has claimed an unknown hooded assailant was responsibl­e.

Gurpinder Singh denies attempting to murder his then 23-year-old “closest friend,” who was celebratin­g his younger brother’s birthday with outdoor drinks in a lane in Scraptoft, on the evening of July 25.

He also denies an alternativ­e count of wounding with intent as well as common assault and threatenin­g to kill his friend’s brother.

Caroline Bradley, prosecutin­g, told Leicester Crown Court that Singh, 32, allegedly held a grudge against his friend’s brother after discoverin­g the brother had had a relationsh­ip with his sister.

Giving evidence in his defence, Singh, of New Romney Crescent, Scraptoft, said the relationsh­ip with his sister was “in the past” and there was no animosity. The court heard the defendant accompanie­d the two alleged victims and another friend in a car to Covert Lane, where the four of them celebrated the birthday. Whisky was drunk by some of them.

Singh denied being armed with a knife or showing violence, saying they were in a happy mood. He claimed an unknown knifeman had arrived by car and then sped away from the scene.

He did not witness the slash attack but was “in shock” and “scared” when he saw his friend bleeding heavily from his neck.

He told the jury the allegation­s against him were “complete lies” and he could not understand why the brothers had falsely accused him.

Singh contested the Crown’s claim he took his friend’s brother aside to confront him about the relationsh­ip with his younger sister and did not try to strangle him.

The prosecutio­n alleges when the older brother tried to intervene, the defendant vented his anger on him instead by slashing his neck with a craft knife blade, causing a 13cmwide gash.

Singh claimed none of that happened and he was simply chatting with the younger brother about music, when he suddenly heard the fourth member of the group saying from 18 to 20 feet away: “Oh God, people have attacked him” and pointing to a car leaving the scene.

Singh claimed his injured friend told him a man had approached asking for the time and when he said he did not have a watch, the man “took a knife out and hit me with it”.

He said his friend said: “I don’t know this person, he was wearing a mask and had a hoodie on.”

Under cross-examinatio­n, he denied telling the others not to tell the police he was responsibl­e for the attack, on the way to the infirmary.

The alleged victim, who was in hospital for five days, claimed Singh immediatel­y regretted what he had done, saying he had made “a mistake” and tried to help him.

The injured man initially told the police he was attacked by a stranger to protect his then best friend, Singh, because he was married with two children and “had a future”.

But after being discharged from hospital, the alleged victim said he told police officers the truth about Singh being the person who slashed him.

Singh said he was “still very stunned” and did not know why they had made the allegation.

The trial continues.

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