Sikh temple protest man to stand trial at Birmingham Crown Court - The Leamington Observer

Sikh temple protest man to stand trial at Birmingham Crown Court

Editorial Correspondent 18th Jul, 2017 Updated: 19th Jul, 2017   0

A MAN accused of ripping up a laminates sign during a protest against a mixed-faith wedding being held at Leamington’s Sikh temple is to stand trial at Birmingham Crown Court.

Following legal arguments about the charge, Kulvinder Bir Singh pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to religiously aggravated criminal damage.

The 37 year-old of Tilehurst Drive, Coventry, also denied an alternative charge of causing criminal damage.

The allegations follow an incident at the Gurdwara Sahib temple in Tachbrook Park Drive on September 11 last year, arising out of opposition to a mixed-faith wedding being held there.

It is said Mr Singh was one of a number of people to enter the premises in protest at the ceremony.

Prosecutor Sophie Murray explained the prosecution case was that, intending to interfere with a mixed-faith wedding which was due to take place that day, Singh took down a laminated paper sign relating to it.

The sign was later found in a bin, having been torn up, allegedly by Mr Singh.

He entered his not guilty pleas following submissions on whether the alleged offence could be religiously aggravated when Mr Singh was himself a Sikh.

Judge Richard Bond then observed there would be ‘real dangers’ in the trial being heard in Leamington which, because the Gurdwara Sahib was the Sikh temple in the town, would effectively exclude any local Sikhs from sitting on the jury.

Miss Murray pointed out there was another case, that of 33 year-old Gursharan Singh, from Holbrooks, Coventry, who is facing a charge of religiously aggravated common assault arising from the same incident.

His case has been adjourned for trial, which has been listed to take place at Coventry Crown Court at the end of January next year.

But Miss Murray said: “It is my view that these two cases should be joined. It may be there is an application for them to be heard together.”

Judge Bond ordered both cases should be listed at Birmingham Crown Court at the beginning of September for an application to be made to join them, and Singh was granted bail.


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