Update: Six men jailed over lorry death of “courageous” Barking businessman Shammi Atwal
- Credit: Archant
Six men who raided a Barking cash and carry before pushing its owner under a lorry have this morning been given jail terms totalling more than 70 years.
The group were found guilty of the manslaughter of Shammi Atwal and conspiracy to rob following a trial in May.
Judge Nicholas Hilliard said that their actions had “devastating and catastrophic consequences”, particularly for Mr Atwal’s widow, Damanjeet Kaur, and their two children, now aged seven and four years old.
“No sentence I pass today can make up for what you have done and the pain you have caused,” he said. “None of you has shown what I regard as any genuine remorse or regret at all for taking Shammi Atwal’s life or for the consequences you have inflicted upon his wife and two small children.”
He said that the evidence of pre-planning, including the purchasing of sledgehammers and using false number plates, moved the case up to a higher sentencing level.
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Farhan Sheikh, 39, of Thornhill Gardens, Barking, and Reiniks Kivers, 29, of no fixed address, were handed 13-year prison sentences for manslaughter at the Old Bailey, with a nine-year sentence for conspiracy to rob to run concurrently.
Aurimas Diliunas, 27, of Rosslyn Road, Barking, was jailed for 11 years and eight months for manslaughter, and seven years and eight months for conspiracy to rob – again, to run concurrently.
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Deibidas Sumskas, 25, of Otley Road, Canning Town; Edgaras Balezantis, 25, of Tollgate Road, Beckton; and Vidmantas Gorskoves, 26, of Grange Road, Plaistow, were all jailed for 11 years and four months for manslaughter, and seven years and four months, concurrent, for conspiracy to rob.
Balezantis was also ordered to pay £500 in compensation, while Gorskoves was ordered to pay £625 and Diliunas was ordered to pay £80.
The six men will each serve half their sentence in jail, and will be tagged for the rest of their respective terms.
Mr Atwal, from Chigwell, chased after the group after they entered his Glenn & Co shop in River Road, Barking, with sledgehammers and metal bars on October 14 last year.
During a struggle with one robber the 45-year-old was pushed under the wheels of a HGV and killed.
Judge Hilliard said Mr Atwal had “intervened in the robbery whilst it was going on with considerable courage to try and stop the robbers getting away with his wife’s bag. His last thoughts were undoubtedly for her”.
Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Chief Inspector Neale Baldock said: “This was a violent robbery that went terribly wrong and resulted in Mr Atwal losing his life. He died whilst trying to defend his livelihood and these callous men have showed no remorse for their actions.
“I am pleased with the sentences that have been handed down today as they reflect the true nature of the offence.
“Now that the trial process has come to a conclusion and a successful conviction achieved I can only hope that today’s sentences can, in some small way, assist Mr Atwal’s family in coming to terms with this tragic and needless loss.”