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Halfway House murder trial: Owner was stabbed nearly 50 times at diner near Shrewsbury

By Deborah Hardiman | Shrewsbury | Crime | Published: | Last Updated:

A businessman found dead at his diner near Shrewsbury was struck and stabbed more than 50 times by his killer, a court heard.

Police at the scene. Inset: Satnam Singh Blugher.

Satnam Singh Blugher, aged 67, was found on the kitchen floor at Tony’s Diner at Halfway House, between Shrewsbury and Welshpool, by a relative.

He had died of multiple injuries and more than £47,000 cash was taken from him.

Mr David Mason, prosecuting, told the jury at Stafford Crown Court that the victim was brutally attacked by employee Belkar Singh at the premises between June 24 and 27 this year.

Singh denies the murder.

Mr Mason said that when Belkar Singh was eventually arrested in Birmingham, where he had fled in a taxi, more than £47,000 in cash belonging to Mr Blugher was recovered from the defendant.

Opening the trial yesterday, Mr Mason QC said: “This case is about the brutal murder of a man called Satnam Singh Blugher – or Mr B as he was known to most people.

“He was a hardworking man who ran a roadside diner in Halfway House in Shropshire. At some time between 9pm on June 25 and on the Monday morning of June 26, this defendant Belkar Singh inflicted more than 50 wounds and blows to Mr B, with at least one sharp weapon before fleeing the site. He fled with all of Mr B’s savings.”

Mr Mason QC said that the defendant, who denies murdering the grandfather, had carried out a “cowardly attack” on his alleged victim “motivated by greed”.

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“The prosecution will say and prove to you that this man in the dock was responsible for this killing and once you have heard all the evidence in this case you will have no difficulty in saying that this man in the dock is a cold blooded killer,” Mr Mason told the jury yesterday.

The court heard that Singh, 56, of Booth Street, Birmingham, was employed mainly to wash dishes at the popular roadside diner.

The Punjabi-speaking Indian national had overstayed his visitor’s visa and was working illegally in this country.

Mr Mason said the defendant had a room at the premises along with another worker who had gone out earlier that afternoon.

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When the restaurant shut for the evening he was there with the victim and was the last person to see him alive.

A murder investigation was launched after Mr Blugher was found with serious injuries at the diner. He was discovered by paramedics following a 999 call.

Following his death Bal Blugher, the daughter of Mr Blugher’s son Harry, said: “Because he had the business for 15 years, he saw lots of customers and knew people from across the West Midlands and Wales.”

A funeral was held in Coventry earlier this year.

Deborah Hardiman

By Deborah Hardiman
@Deborahh_Star

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based out of the head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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