Sikh man, 60, cleared of attacking drinker with ceremonial dagger in Ilford

A 60-year-old Sikh man accused of attacking a drinker with a ceremonial dagger has been cleared after insisting he acted in self-defence.

Bagicha Singh, of Richmond Road, Ilford, was found not guilty at Snaresbrook Crown Court of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and of committing unlawful and malicious wounding.

He had been tried on suspicion of stabbing 30-year-old Pritpal Singh with his kirpan.

The incident was said to have occurred on November 12 2012 after Mr Singh, who had been drinking in South Park, Ilford, became angry after hitting his leg on a metal pole.

After shouting, and turning his anger on a passing family, Mr Singh headed towards Sunnyside Road with friends and came across Bagicha Singh.

Bagicha Singh, who said he unsheathed his kirpan to get Mr Singh off him and feared the group would kill him, told jurors: “I was talking on the phone and as I was walking I saw some men sitting on the bench.

“At first he [Mr Singh] punched me on the neck and then kicked me in the throat. I fell on my back and hurt my head.

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“I half got up and they were around me, encircling me, and I was kicked again in the stomach.

“He grabbed my hair and dragged me; I was trying to hold my kirpan on the side of my body.

“He was hitting me on my face and everywhere and trying to snatch my kirpan.

“The whole time I thought he was going to kill me; if he got hold of the kirpan he would have killed me.”

Mr Singh realised he was bleeding as he walked away and was taken to hospital for treatment.

Bagicha Singh was seen beaming and with tears in his eyes as the verdicts were announced.