Two 16-year-old boys jailed for Rhyl shopkeeper killing

image copyrightFamily photo
image captionAmarjeet Singh-Bhakar was originally from Manchester and died after a disturbance on Prince Edward Avenue in Rhyl

Two teenage boys have each been jailed for six years for the manslaughter of a Rhyl shopkeeper.

The boys, both aged 16, admitted stabbing 37-year-old Amarjeet Singh-Bhakar on 30 April, 2017.

In evidence, Mold Crown Court heard Mr Singh-Bhakar, 37, died in a fight between rival gangs over the supply of cannabis in the town.

But the judge, Mr Justice Goose QC, said he could not be sure, on the evidence, what the background was.

Mr Singh-Bhakar's daughter wrote a letter, read out in court by his widow as part of her witness impact statement, to his teenage killers.

It read: "To the boys who killed my daddy - the man with the bandana was my daddy.

"My mum is now on her own and she cries all the time.

"My dad loved singing and dancing. He was a good Sikh and he was our dad."

She said the death of her father, from Manchester, had made "everyone cry" in the city.

She described him as "funny" and "the best person in the world".

image captionThe teenagers were sentenced at Mold Crown Court

Mr Singh-Bhakar's widow, Sushi Bhakar, said in her statement: "He was truly one in a million and the joy in my children's lives."

She said Mr Singh-Bhakar, known as VJ, commuted daily from the family's Manchester home to Rhyl to run his business.

She added: "VJ was not only my husband, he was my best friend, companion and soul mate.

"We expected to grow old together. Trying to imagine life without him is impossible."

The prosecution case had been that Mr Singh-Bhakar was stabbed during an organised fight between two gangs - one from Rhyl and the other from Manchester - over the supply of cannabis in the Flintshire town.

The teenagers, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had been in a house in Rhyl when a group, including Mr Singh-Bhakar, turned up outside in the middle of the night.

'Unnecessary death'

Sentencing, Mr Justice Goose QC said: "This was planned group violence in the middle of the night in a residential area.

"You introduced knives in to this violence and caused the death of one man and serious injury to another.

"This case is just another example of the dangers that are obvious when knives are taken."

Detective Inspector Gary Kelly, of North Wales Police, said after the case: "A feud was taking place which resulted in two groups coming to meet to sort out their differences.

"A fight ensued in which two young men decided to arm themselves with knives and stabbing Amarjeet, causing his death.

"These two young men have today been sentenced to six years each for manslaughter and seriously wounding another man who was also involved in the disorder."

Outside court, Mrs Bhakar said that it was "yet another wasteful and unnecessary death" at the hands of people armed with knives.

She added: "If any good can be served by Amarjeet's death, it would be to demonstrate to young people in our communities that to carry, or to arm yourself with a knife, could have deadly consequences."

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