02/03/2012

Three Jailed After Death Of Television Executive

Three people have been jailed today after television executive Gagandip Singh was attacked and killed in February last year.

They include 20-year-old female medical student Mundhill Mundill Kaur Mahil of Gladstone Place, Brighton. She had been convicted of grievous bodily harm with intent and was given six years in a Youth Offenders Institute.

Harvinder Shoker, 20, of Charlton Park Lane, Charlton was found guilty of the murder. He was was sentenced to life for murder and ordered to serve a minimum of 22 years

Darren Peters, 20, of Shooters Hill Road, SE3 was convicted of manslaughter. He received 12 years in a Youth Offenders Institute.

All three were convicted at the Old Bailey on Friday 24 February and sentenced today Wednesday 29 February.

The Judge commended the Metropolitan Police's investigation team and in particular Detective Sergeant Victoria Townsend and Detective Constable Paul Griffiths.

Gagandip, a successful entrepreneur and CEO of Sikh TV, was 21 years old when his body was discovered in the boot of his burning car in Angerstein Lane, Blackheath during the early hours of 26 February 2011.

The Old Bailey heard that Gagandip was in love with Mahil. However, the friends fell out in August 2010 following an incident in which she alleged she was sexually assaulted at the Brighton house she shared with other students.

Following that incident Mahil refused to speak to Gagandip despite numerous attempts by him to contact her.

In the following months Shoker entered Mahil's life and he was also in love with her. Mahil described him to friends as her 'protector' and told housemates that male friends of hers wanted to exact revenge on Gagandip but she would discourage them.

However on 25 February 2011, far from discouraging anyone, she lured Gagandip to Brighton, suggesting a meeting at her house at 23:00hrs to clear the air.

Gagandip drove from his Bexleyheath home to Brighton, only stopping at a service station to buy Mahil a teddy bear.

Lying in wait for him at the address was Shoker and Peters who had been collected from Brighton Railway Station by Mahil a few hours earlier. Gagandip was beaten unconscious, wrapped in a duvet and bundled into the boot of his own car.

Shoker and Peters then drove the car to Blackheath where they poured petrol over the car and Gagandip, who was unconscious but still alive.

The burning car caused a loud explosion and the London Fire Brigade were called to extinguish the flames. It was fire fighters who discovered Gagandip's body in the boot of the car.

Mahil contacted the police incident room the following day claiming to be concerned for a friend whom she had heard had committed suicide. She was arrested when detectives became concerned about her story and version of events leading to Gagandip's death.

Detective Superintendent Damian Allain, of the Homicide and Serious Crime Command, said: "Throughout the investigation and trial Mahil portrayed herself as a victim, denying in any way that she had lured Gagandip to Brighton knowing Shoker and Peters were going to attack him.

"At trial she claimed she had gone to police voluntarily to assist them in their investigation. In fact under cross examination she was forced to admit having misled police. She tried to divert blame to others, suggesting that all she had done was to lure him to what she explained was going to 'a good talking to' or a lecture about his future conduct and that at most he may have succumbed to a 'slap or two'.

"It is clear to me, now endorsed by the jury's verdict, that her actions were calculating and that she was at the heart of a criminal conspiracy with Shoker and Peters of tricking Gagandip to Brighton to seriously assault him which resulted in his death. All this from a medical student embarking upon a career in a caring profession. I have no doubt that had it not been for her deceit and trickery, Gagandip would not have been murdered on that fateful night.

"I would like to pay tribute to Gagandip's mother and sister who have acted with the utmost dignity during the investigation and subsequent trial despite having to listen to the lies proffered in the defence cases for all three defendants. I hope Gagandip's family and friends are able to find some small comfort in the convictions of Mahil, Shoker and Peters."

(GK)

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