Widow of Chigwell man killed by armed gang tells how her world ‘came tumbling down’

Shammi Atwal. Picture: Metropolitan Police Service

Shammi Atwal. Picture: Metropolitan Police Service - Credit: Archant

The Chigwell widow of businessman Shammi Atwal, who was run over by a lorry while chasing an armed gang from his cash and carry, spoke of her heartbreak over his death.

In an impact statement read out in court – presented here in full for the first time – she told how the events in Barking of October 14 saw her world, and those of her two young children, come “tumbling down”.

“My husband and I with our two children had a lovely and happy life,” she said.

“We were all very family-orientated. I loved my husband with all my heart and he loved his family and children.

“Our life was a perfect little family and we had so much to look forward to.

“On one Monday morning, being October 14, 2013, my life and my children’s lives took a drastic change when my husband’s life was taken in such a tragedy.

“Shammi was the most loving husband and father. Since that Monday I don’t know how to cope or live anymore.

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“My life took a 360-degree turn. We have lost the children’s father, my husband, and it is very hard for me and the children to live.

“My son is only seven years old and my daughter is only four years old, and life without their dad is very difficult. The children are finding it very hard to cope as they wer”e very close to their dad.

“They ask all the time: ‘Where is dad?’

“What can I say to them when they cry? I have nothing to say to them as I cannot bring their dad back. Looking at my children it breaks my heart and I can’t cope.

“One morning has changed our life. My husband was the head of the family. He used to take care of us, the house and the business.

“I was always reliant on him for everything and now he is gone and will never come back. Dealing with the tragedy, not having much family, is very hard.

“I don’t know how we will live with this loss and pain. Myself and my two children’s lives also ended on October 14. Our worlds came tumbling down. Words cannot describe the pain and hurt we feel.

“This is something we will live with for the rest of our lives and I will see my kids grow up without their dad and that is the bit I am finding very hard to cope with.

“There are no words to express how we are coping. We are just living - we miss him all the time and always will.”

Six members of the armed gang were found guilty of manslaughter on Tuesday.

Vidmantas Gorskoves, 26, of Grange Road, Plaistow; Aurimas Diliunas, 27, of no fixed address; Deibidas Sumskas, 25, of Otley Road, Canning Town; Edgaras Balezantis, 25, of Tollgate Road, Beckton; Reiniks Kivers, 29, of no fixed address; and Farhan Sheikh, 39, of Thornhill Gardens, Barking, were all convicted at the Old Bailey of manslaughter and conspiracy to commit robbery.

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