Murder accused 'stabbed restaurant manager during fight'

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Ansar ShahImage source, Police Scotland/Google
Image caption,
Ansar Shah was stabbed to death in an Ayr car park in 1993

A woman has told a jury she saw murder accused Jagtar Singh stab a restaurant manager after a fight broke out.

Sonya Higgins, 56, from Ayr, was giving evidence at the trial of 51-year-old Mr Singh - also known as Tony.

Mr Singh, his brother Jaspal Singh, 54, and Balwant Singh, 58, all deny murdering Ansar Shah by repeatedly stabbing him outside the Armaan restaurant in Ayr on 4 October 1993.

Jurors have previously heard Jaspal Singh had been sacked by Mr Shah.

Mrs Higgins told the High Court in Glasgow that in 1993 she was married to Havez Sharif, who worked at the Ayr restaurant.

Immigration authorities

She said Mr Sharif was detained by the immigration authorities after a phone call which colleagues blamed on Jaspal Singh and Balwant Singh.

As a result, a meeting was arranged at the Armaan restaurant at midnight on 3 October 1993. When all three accused turned up by car, staff from the restaurant came out to meet them.

Mrs Higgins told prosecutor Richard Goddard that she was in the car park when the arranged meeting took place.

She said initially there were raised voices and then a fight broke out and someone from the restaurant was waving a baseball bat or a cricket bat.

Mr Goddard asked her: "Did you see any other weapons," and she replied: "Yes. A knife. Tony Singh had it."

Kitchen knife

The prosecutor said: "What did he do with the knife," and she sobbed as she responded: "He ran towards Shah and stabbed him."

Mrs Higgins was asked if Mr Shah was stabbed once or more than once and said: "I think more than once, but I'm not 100 per cent. He stabbed him on the left side of his chest. It looked like a kitchen knife. He just fell to the ground."

Mr Goddard asked: "What was Mr Shah doing when he was repeatedly stabbed?" and Mrs Higgins told him: "Nothing, he was just standing there. He wasn't involved in the fighting."

Jagtar Singh and Jaspal Singh, both from Slough, Berkshire, and Balwant Singh, from Dalmellington, Ayrshire, deny murder.

Jagtar Singh also denies attempting to defeat the ends of justice by changing his clothing and fleeing to England.

The trial before judge Lord Beckett continues.