Murder accused tells trial: ‘I only stabbed him once’

Singh is on trial at the High Court in Glasgow. Picture: contributed
Singh is on trial at the High Court in Glasgow. Picture: contributed
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A man accused of murdering a restaurant manager 25 years ago yesterday told a jury that he stabbed him once in self defence.

Jagtar Singh, 51, claimed that Ansar Shah had knifed him in the stomach and said: “It was my revenge. If someone attacks you, you attack him back.”

Singh denies murdering 38-year-old Mr Shah in the car park of the Armaan Restaurant at Seafield Road, Ayr, on 4 October, 1993.

The court has been told that Mr Shah was stabbed three times. Two of the wounds went through his heart.

Singh denied stabbing Mr Shah three times. He told the jury that he only stabbed him once in the abdomen.

Yesterday, at the High Court in Glasgow Singh told of how he went to the car park with his brother Jaspal Singh, 54, to talk with staff at the restaurant.

Singh told defence QC Thomas Ross that he did not know what the dispute was about, but thought his brother may have owed money to someone at the restaurant.

He said: “When we got there seven or eight people came out and they all wanted to attack my brother.”

The accused said he got involved after three men began assaulting his brother.

He told the court he punched a man who was kicking his brother and added: ‘He stabbed me in the stomach with a knife or a screwdriver.

“I hit him on the arm and grabbed the knife off him and in the next few seconds I stabbed him in the stomach and then ran away while the fighting was still going on. I didn’t know what happened after that.”

Mr Ross asked: “Why when you had taken the knife off him didn’t you just run away,” and Singh replied: “Why did he attack me with it. He attacked me first. It was his fault. If someone attacks me

“I will not step back. I wanted to take my revenge. He struck me and I struck him.”

The court heard that 
father-of-four Singh took a bus to London hours later and then travelled to France where he has lived for the last 25 years.

Singh – told prosecutor Richard Goddard: “I did not kill Ansar Shah. I had a fight with him. I only stabbed him once.”

When asked why he had fled to London hours afterwards Singh said: “Because I had a fight. I just wanted to get away and save my life and I was successful. I started a new life.”

The trial continues.