Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Murdered man drowned in own blood

Baljinder Singh Kooner, the brother of a woman in a relationship with a married man, has been jailed for life for murdering him

The brother of a woman in a "tempestuous" relationship with a married man has been jailed for life for murdering him on a busy riverside promenade.

Bobby Kalon, 31, drowned in his own blood after having his throat cut in front of teenagers outside an ice cream kiosk in Gravesend, Kent, in July 2003.

Mr Kalon was killed during a "showdown" with the woman's relatives, who celebrated as he lay dying before running off, the Old Bailey heard.

He was bitten and beaten, as well as suffering more than 30 stab wounds, before being held down by Baljinder Singh Kooner - whose cousin Guljinder Singh Gurewal then slit his throat.

John Price QC, prosecuting, said: "This was a comparatively short, extremely violent, no doubt very distressing incident to witness, all the more shocking for it taking place in public in a place where people were enjoying themselves."

Both killers fled overseas and were not arrested for several years. Kooner, 35, of no fixed address, was brought back to Britain after being detained in France under a European arrest warrant in October 2009.

He was convicted of murder on Friday by a unanimous jury verdict and jailed for life with a minimum term of 12 years. The failed asylum seeker, who arrived in Britain in 2002, faces deportation to India upon his eventual release. Gurewal, 33, had previously pleaded guilty to murder after being caught trying to re-enter the country in December 2007. He named Kooner as his accomplice.

Mr Kalon, who worked at the Royal Albert Dock in London, was married with stepchildren and lived in Sidcup, Kent. The court heard that there had been a series of "unpleasant incidents" over his close friendship with Kooner's sister, Pindi, who was also married. It was described by the judge as a "tempestuous relationship".

Mr Price said it "engendered strong feelings" both in her husband and the wider family on both sides and matters "came to a head" in July 2003. He said: "The promenade area of Gravesend which runs alongside the south bank of the River Thames was thronging with people. Suddenly amongst them all there broke out a violent struggle between three men. Within a matter of minutes one of those men was left dying on the ground, the victim of multiple stab wounds and his throat having been cut across its width."

Mr Price said the bleeding from the 7.5cm (3in) cut to the neck went into his windpipe, blocking his airways and causing his death. "In layman's terms, Bobby Kalon literally drowned in his own blood." Mr Kalon also suffered three bite marks to his arm and DNA components taken from them matched Kooner, jurors were told. Judge Brian Barker, the Common Serjeant of London, said: "It was some sort of showdown. This was a vicious attack and Bobby was shown no mercy."

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