Matharu was dragged
to death under car'
Matharu mowed down and killed by thieves for £5 car radio
Also noticed- how
poor coverage was done in UK for the two people murdered same
London, April 25, 2008
Labh Singh Labana
January 12, 2006, Balbir Matharu, 54, saw the two men breaking
into his Mercedes Sprinter van through a window in an apparent
attempt to steal his radio. Two brothers Albert Willett, 26, and
Tommy Willett, 24 were arrested in July 2006 for the crime. They
The prosecutor, Crispin Aylett, QC said:
- Mr Mathuru was working nearby and saw two men breaking into
his Mercedes Sprinter van– called out and ran across the
road to where the van was parked. The thief ran back to the green
Mondeo and jumped in ready to be driven away.
- Mr Mathuru stood in front of the van and banged on the bonnet
with his hand. The car at this point was stationary. Mr Mathuru
no doubt expected the car not to move. But the older brother wasn't
- According to a witness, Tommy Willett said "Go, go"
to his brother before they ran over Mr Matharu. They drove off.
Mr Matharu was dragged along for 40 meters. The car then drove
over Mr Matharu but even that was not enough to make them stop.
They left Mr Matharu lying in the road. Mr Matharu died a few
hours later. When Mr Mathuru finally fell under their Ford Mondeo,
it would have felt "like driving over a speed bump.
- Then they had taken their car to a scrap yard, where it was
crushed, soon after running over Mr Matharu.
- When the Willetts were first arrested, in July 2006, they denied
the crime, but officers bugged their cell.
- "Albert Willett was heard to say, 'What if they get
us on camera when we went to the scrap yard? What shall we
say? Someone gave us the car to break the engine?'."
- Albert Willett admitted driving the car and his younger brother
was in the passenger seat. Albert Willett, 26, admitted an alternative
charge of manslaughter but Tommy Willett pleaded not guilty. Both
men live at a travelers' site in Stratford, east London. Tommy
Willett was secretly recorded singing a song to himself in his
cell about his involvement in the crime.
The car stereo was left behind by the thieves, the court heard.
"So Mr Mathuru was killed for what? A car radio that, no
doubt, would have been sold in a pub for £5.
Balbir Matharu was a hard-working and family
man. He was married for 30 years to Sukhvinder, 51. The couple
had one daughter, Baljinder, 28 and two sons Inderjit, 25, and
Baljinder. He had worked six days a week for a family friend
who ran a builders' merchant in Stratford, East London, near
the crime scene. Sukhvinder and daughter, Baljinder worked in
the shop. Inderjit and Baljinder also run a double glazing company
at the back of the yard.
There was great criticism in the media now, how poor and
more coverage was done in the UK for the two people murdered the
same day, January 12, 2006
- In Balbir Matharu case, some coverage in the
local weekly papers was noticed- The first statement was sparse,
indicating it may have been simply a road accident; it was four
days before police disclosed that Mr Matharu had been dragged
along by the car or released a picture of him.
- The killing of Tom ap Rhys Pryce, the lawyer stabbed
to death in north-west London- It was the national news
and most of UK papers and other media updated all the time
When we look both cases:
- Full details of Mr Rhys Pryce's murder were available immediately,
together with a photograph and a colorful quote from a detective.
Over the following 10 days, 16 press releases were issued about
his case, together with CCTV images, all of which helped propel
- Only six releases were issued about Mr Matharu.
NRI Balbir Matharu mowed down and killed by thieves
for £5 car radio
Also noticed- how poor coverage was done in UK for
the two people murdered same day