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UK jury fails to give verdict on Namdhari leader attack case

Last Updated: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 00:17

London: The jury in the trial of a British Sikh call-centre worker for an attack on Namdhari sect leader Satguru Uday Singh in the UK failed to reach a verdict on Monday.

Harjit Singh Toor will know in the next two weeks if he would have to face a re-trial over the axe attack at a Gurdwara in Leicester last August.

Justice Carr at Birmingham Crown Court was forced to discharge the 12 men and women on the jury after they were unable to reach a majority verdict following five hours of deliberation on Friday.
The 27-year-old accused concealed a three-foot axe beneath a shawl and entered a packed Gurdwara in Leicester during morning prayers on August 11 last year.

Toor denied attempted murder but admitted grievous bodily harm with intent as payback for being sexually abused by the guru in an Indian village in the mid-1990s when he was about eight years old.
Singh has denied the allegations as "totally absurd" in his evidence via video link from the headquarters of the Namdhari branch of Sikhism in Bhaini Sahib near Ludhiana.

"I was toying back and forth. I wanted to hurt Uday, I wanted to cause him harm. I remember thinking, as I was walking up to him, that I just wanted to scare him...And make him realise that I hadn`t forgot," Toor had told court during his week-long trial last week.

"My emotions just erupted and I just remember wanting to hurt his hands. That`s when I charged up on to the stage and swung the axe. It`s probably the biggest mistake I have ever made in my life. I accept what I have done was wrong," he said.

The prosecution alleges last August`s attack at the Gurdwara Namdhari Temple?on Linden Street, Leicester, was motivated by religious hatred.

The court was shown footage of the moment Toor pulled out an axe and hacked at the guru as he sat cross-legged.

The jury had retired on Thursday evening but even after being told the court would accept a majority verdict rather than a unanimous one, it failed to reach a decision.

First Published: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 00:17

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