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Murder accused admits stabbing victim in 'self defence'

Jagtar Singh told a jury he took 'revenge' after Ansar Shah knifed him in the stomach.

Court: Mr Shah was murdered in the car park of the Armaan Restaurant in Ayr, on October 4, 1993.
Court: Mr Shah was murdered in the car park of the Armaan Restaurant in Ayr, on October 4, 1993.

A man accused of murdering a restaurant manager 25 years ago told a jury that he stabbed him once in self defence.

Jagtar Singh, 51, claimed Ansar Shah had knifed him in the stomach.

He told the High Court in Glasgow: "It was my revenge. If someone attacks you, you attack him back."

Mr Singh denies murdering Mr Shah, 38, in the car park of the Armaan Restaurant in Ayr, on October 4, 1993.

The court has been told Mr Shah was stabbed three times.

Two of the wounds went through his heart.

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

He said he went to the car park with his brother, Jaspal Singh, 54, to talk with staff at the restaurant.

Mr 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 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."
Jagtar Singh

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?"

Mr 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 the father-of-four took a bus to London hours later and then travelled to France, where he has lived for the last 25 years.

In evidence Mr Singh claimed that he did not know that Mr Shah had died until he was detained at Frankfurt airport on November 9, 2017, on his way back from a holiday in India.

He denied being told Mr Shah had died.

Mr Singh said: "I asked my brother what happened in the fight and he said 'be quiet and forget about it.'

"He said to me 'do not talk about this - forget about that time you are living happily with your family.'"

Under questioning by prosecutor Richard Goddard, Mr Singh said: "I did not kill Ansar Shah. I had a fight with him. I only stabbed him once."

Asked why he had fled to London hours afterwards, Mr Singh told the court: "Because I had a fight. I just wanted to get away and save my life and I was successful. I started a new life.

"I did not want to come back to this country again. It is not lucky for me."

Mr 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.

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