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NRI shooting victim jailed 3 month for lying to police

London, November 20, 2007
Labh Singh Labana

NRI Sanjeev Bhanot, 29, Southhall businessman, who was almost killed when a bullet tore through his stomach a year ago. He repeatedly misled police because he was terrified about retribution from his attackers, was jailed for perverting the course of justice.

Southwark crown court heard that Bhanot had given detectives a false name, age and address, and invented two different stories about the shooting and who was there at the time. The Police expected cooperation after doctors told Bhanot that a fractional change in the bullet's course would have wrecked his bowel and bladder, and "at the very least" left him paralysed for life. Despite spending four weeks in hospital, the businessman refused to help the police.

Judge Christopher Elwen said a prison sentence was essential "in the current circumstances of gun crime in London .You have rightly been accused of deliberately setting out to frustrate the investigation into a serious firearm incident."

The judge also told the court: "It is important that those involved in gun crime, even as a victim, cooperate with the police for very obvious reasons.

An unidentified friend, when he called 999, tape recorded telling the victim: "I have got to call an ambulance for you, mate. I have got to go now, bud."

Bhanot told police, an African-Caribbean man mugging him for jewellery and then blamed a "fugitive bookmaker" who had chased him for a gambling debt.

He was sure cooperating with police would not only put his own life in renewed danger but also lay his whole family open to unspecified gangsters' revenge.

Actually, he finally admitted not cooperating because he feared for his safety