Man given life sentence for murdering £3,000 casino winner


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The Independent Online

A man has been handed a life term after stabbing a gambler to death who had won £3,000 at a casino.

Mohammed Muqtar, 25, was found guilty of murdering Sashpal Singh Bahra, 46, following a five-day trial at Birmingham Crown Court.

Muqtar, from Birmingham, went to the Gala Casino on Hill Street in the city centre with the intention of identifying a victim who had won money last May.

Mr Bahra cashed in his £3,000 winnings and left the casino. Muqtar followed him and fatally stabbed him with a knife.

Judge Melbourne Inman QC handed Muqtar a life sentence and ordered him to serve a minimum of 30 years in prison, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

Following the sentencing yesterday, Rukhsana Mohammed, from the West Midlands CPS, said: "This was a planned robbery where brutal violence was used which led to the death of Sashpal Bahra.

"Mohammed Muqtar was captured by CCTV cameras entering the Gala Casino on Hill Street in Birmingham city centre with what we believe was the sole purpose of identifying a victim who had won money in the casino. The victim who he identified that night was Mr Bahra.

"Once Mr Bahra had cashed in his £3,000 winnings, he left the casino and headed home. Muqtar followed the victim and then attacked him.

"The victim fought back and the defendant stabbed him a number of times using a knife he was carrying with him. One of these stab wounds proved fatal and Mr Bahra was pronounced dead at the scene.

"This was a very tragic case where Mr Bahra should have been celebrating, but instead his family and friends have been left grieving for their loss. Our thoughts today are with them and we extend our deepest sympathy."