Black country

Two West Midlands men convicted of landlord's murder

Sukwinder Singh Sanghera and Jasbir Singh Takhar (pic: West Midlands Police)
Image caption Sukwinder Singh Sanghera and Jasbir Singh Takhar were found guilty

Two men have been found guilty of killing a pub landlord who was shot outside his bar.

Swinder Singh Batth, 47, was hit by a "poorly-aimed" bullet fired at someone else in Bilston, West Midlands, on 28 July 2009, an eight-week trial heard.

Jasbir Singh Takhar, 23, of Birmingham New Road, Coseley, and Sukwinder Singh Sanghera, 24, of Albion Road, West Bromwich, were convicted of murder.

Seven others were convicted of related offences at Birmingham Crown Court.

'Deliberate desire'

The jurors found four men and a woman guilty of conspiracy to commit violent disorder in connection with the incident.

Two other defendants were convicted of intimidating a witness before the trial.

Prosecutor Christopher Hotten QC said the victim died minutes after being shot in the chest at Gavin's Sports Bar.

Image caption Swinder Singh Batth was hit by a "poorly-aimed" bullet, the trial heard

Mr Hotten told the jury the fatal shooting happened after a Seat Alhambra and a Renault Clio pulled up outside the bar.

The QC added it was very unlikely that Mr Batth was the intended target of the bullet, which had been fired with a "considered and deliberate desire for revenge" after an earlier dispute near the premises.

About three hours before the murder, two of the defendants were driving away from Gavin's Sports Bar in a Renault Clio when a powerful, green beam from a laser pen had been directed towards their vehicle, the court heard.

A jury took about four-and-a-half hours to unanimously convict Takhar and Sanghera of murdering Mr Batth.

They both face mandatory life terms and will be sentenced alongside the other seven defendants on Friday.

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