Rough sleepers appear in court in Baljit murder


LONDON: Two rough sleepers have appeared in court charged with killing a man in a west London alleyway. Baljit Singh, 37, was found collapsed off Station Road in Hayes, on April 25. The victim, who was believed to live locally, was pronounced dead at the scene.

A post-mortem examination found that he had suffered chest and abdominal injuries and compression of the neck. On Tuesday, two Indian nationals, who were said to have slept rough under the M4 motorway, appeared at the Old Bailey accused of murder.

Baljit Singh

Manpreet Singh, 20, and Jaspreet Singh, 24, appeared by video-link from custody and were assisted by a Punjabi interpreter. During the Skype hearing, Judge Nigel Lickely QC set a plea hearing for July 28, saying that, due to uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, it was not possible to set a trial date until then.

Remanding the pair back into custody, Judge Lickley acknowledged the difficulties lawyers faced in contacting their clients in custody because of coronavirus and asked the defendants to be patient.