Shropshire Star

Jailed: Five Black Country men caged for 122 years for DPD driver killing in Shrewsbury

Five men convicted of killing a 23-year-old DPD driver in Shrewsbury have been given a combined prison sentence of 122 years.

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Aurman Singh was hacked to death in broad daylight on August 21 last year.

He was attacked by two gangs of masked men brandishing an array of weapons including an axe, golf club, cricket bat and wooden stave.

Four men wanted in connection with the killing remain at large and are being hunted by police.

But last month, Arshdeep Singh, 24, of Shaw Road in Tipton; Shivdeep Singh, 27, of Greenfield Road in Smethwick; Manjot Singh, 25, also of Greenfield Road; Jagdeep Singh, 23, of Goodrich Mews in Dudley were all found guilty of his murder.

A fifth man, Sukhmandeep Singh, 24, of Peterborough, was found guilty of manslaughter after he provided information on Aurman Singh's whereabouts to the gang while working at the same delivery depot in Stoke as the murdered man.

On Friday, the five men appeared before judge Kristina Montgomery KC at Stafford Crown Court to face sentencing for their part in the killing.

Prosecution counsel Mr Simon Denison KC told the judge that the four Black Country men convicted of murder had “all played their part”.

The court had previously heard how Jagdeep Singh had attacked Aurman Singh with an axe, Arshdeep Singh a golf club and Manjot Singh bludgeoned him with a wooden stave before fleeing in an Audi driven by Shivdeep Singh.

The delivery driver was pronounced dead 30 minutes after the assault and the four men arrested as they travelled back to the Black Country.

"There was a significant degree of planning and premeditation," said Mr Denison. "The evidence showed that Arshdeep Singh was at the centre of what happened but they all played their part."

He said that the attack was aggravated by the fact the men had taken the weapons they used to kill Aurman Singh with them from the Black Country.

Mr Denison added that while he conceded that one of the men, Shivdeep Singh, did not get out of the car during the attack, he said: “He clearly knew and was a party to the plan to attack. He knew the weapons were being carried in the car he was driving and he knew and intended that they should be used."

He also said that Sukhmandeep Singh, who had been convicted of the manslaughter of the DPD driver “intended for them to find Aurman Singh so that they should inflict serious violence on him, nothing less".

While none of the men had previous criminal convictions, Mr Denison said: “When offending is as serious as this, previous good character can have little if any mitigating effect.”

Judge Kristina Montgomery told the court the murder of Aurman Singh had been an "act of horrifying brutality".

She said the four Black Country men gathered with four other men and “finalised” the plan and that the weapons have been “carefully curated” to cause the maximum damage when “wielded with fervent aggression”.

“All but Shivdeep Singh jumped out and ran towards him. Each of them was concealing their face with a mask and each of them carrying a weapon," she said. "Between them they had an axe, golf club, wooden stave, metal club, hockey stick, shovel and a knife.

“Aurman Singh was felled and attacked by these defendant's by their weapon of choice. Jagdeep Singh chopped into Aurman Singh's head three times with the axe. Blows of such ferocity they penetrated his skull.

“He was clubbed over the head by Arshdeep Singh with the golf club and with such force that it fractured his skull. Manjot Singh struck his bleeding head with the wooden stave."

She added that the men then "left him to die on the side of the road”.

She told Arshdeep Singh, Jagdeep Singh, Manjot Singh and getaway driver Shivdeep Singh, who she said "bore equal responsibility" for the murder, that they must serve 28 years in prison each before they are eligible for release.

She told Sukhmandeep Singh without his "contribution the plan it could not have been carried out with such predicted efficacy" and jailed him for 10 years for the manslaughter of Aurman Singh.

None of the men spoke as they were led from the dock.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Bellamy of West Mercia Police, who led the investigation into the killing of Aurman Singh, said: “I am pleased that significant sentences have been handed to these men for the brutal murder of Aurman Singh.

“These five men are dangerous individuals who will now serve a considerable sentence in prison where they cannot cause further harm to the wider public.

“We are incredibly grateful for the support from local residents and those who provided vital information to assist with our investigation and gave evidence in court.

“Aurman’s family have understandably been left shattered, when he was tragically killed in a planned and brutal attack in Shrewsbury, and my thoughts and condolences remain with them.

“Today’s sentence should send a strong message to those who think they can come into our towns and cities to commit violent crime that we will not stop in our efforts to find them and put them before the courts.

“This was a complex investigation which saw us work with police forces across the country and I’d like to thank the investigation team and those involved for their hard work and commitment.”