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Monday, December 5, 2022

Elderly Sikh man suffers brain injury after assault in UK – accused Claudio Campos sentenced to 3 years jail

A man who had punched a 62-year-old Sikh in Manchester “without any justifiable reason” and left him for dead has been jailed for three years.

Claudio Campos, 28, attacked Avtar Singh in broad daylight as he was walking home from work through the Tib Street area of the City Centre on June 23.

Campos, who was with his partner at the time, proceeded to walk up behind Avtar before violently punching him to the head. Singh fell into the middle of the road where he stayed unconscious until a passer-by called for an ambulance.

Singh had suffered a severe traumatic brain injury, a stroke caused by bleeding on the brain and multiple fractures to his cheek, jaw and eye socket as a result of the attack, the BBC reported.

He remains in hospital requiring 24-hour nursing and medical care.

“This was a horrific attack on a much loved family member and community leader which deeply shocked the public. I hope today’s verdict gives Mr. Singh’s family some relief that the person who has harmed their husband and father has now faced justice and will be sent to prison,” Detective Inspector Mark Astbury, of Greater Manchester Police (GMP), said.

Campos was located with the help of CCTV footage and taken into custody by the GMP in September, where he admitted the assault.

Sentencing Campos, Judge Hilary Manley told him he had attacked Singh “without any justifiable reason”.

“As a direct result of your decision to attack him, his life, and the lives of his family, are forever traumatised, changed and diminished. He gave you no reason at all to do what you did,” Manley was quoted as saying in the BBC.

The judge rejected the defendant’s claim that he was “very sorry”.

“When our dad came to this country over 30 years ago, he never imagined that he would be the subject of such a heinous attack which has left him bed bound and in hospital for as long as he has been,” Singh’s children said in a release issued by the GMP.

“As a family, we are truly heartbroken and still struggle to come to terms with the reality of his future and the truth behind this crime,” they said.

Preet Kaur Gill, an Indian-origin British Sikh MP, in a letter to Home Secretary Suella Braverman, has sought protection and urgent action against rising crimes against the community in the UK.

Quoting hate crime statistics 2021-22, Gill, an MP from Birmingham, said hate crimes against Sikhs rose by 169 per cent in comparison to a 38 per cent increase in reported religious hate crimes overall.

“I am deeply concerned by these new statistics. 301 hate crimes against Sikhs were reported in 2021-22, up from 112 in 2020-21. The 169 per cent increase is compared to a 38 per cent increase in reported religious hate crimes overall”, Gill said in the letter, which she released on Twitter on Monday.

The 2001 census recorded 336,000 Sikhs living in Britain.

Gill said 301 hate crimes against Sikhs were reported in 2021-22, up from 112 in 2020-2021.

The letter, which was also addressed to Simon Clarke, secretary of the department for levelling up, housing and communities (DLUHC), comes as 28 year-old Claudio Capos from Manchester was awarded a three year jail term recently for attacking 62-year-old Avtar Singh in broad daylight this June.

Singh had suffered a severe traumatic brain injury, a stroke caused by bleeding on the brain and multiple fractures to his cheek, jaw and eye socket as a result of the attack, the BBC reported.

Gill, in her letter, urged Braverman to implement the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) report on British Sikhs, which was published in 2020.

The report found that the lack of an official term was a contributing factor as to why crimes against Sikhs go largely “unnoticed, unreported and unrecorded”.

This report, Gill said, was shared with both the home secretary and communities secretary at the time and was an attempt to consult the government on the definition of Anti-Sikh hate.

“However, despite multiple promises of substantive response and offers of a meeting, the home office and DLUHC, between them, have failed to respond,” she added.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)

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