Man jailed after killing pensioner in violent Smethwick beating

By John Scott | Smethwick | Crime | Published:

A murderer who battered to death a harmless 70-year-old man took the secret of his motive to the cells as he started a life sentence of at least 18 years four months today.

Palvinder Singh Hayre

Palvinder Hayre, who had a history of violence and hard drinking, snapped at his home in White Road, Smethwick, during a drinking spree with Gurmukh Singh.

Mr Singh was saying his final farewell to friends before being deported back to India after living in this country for 23 years.

The victim arrived at the house clutching a bottle of whisky at around 4pm on November 22.

He stayed overnight because he was too drunk to return to Birmingham where he was living with his sister.

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His friend Mrs Rawinder Kaur Bhogal visited the house the following day morning and told the Wolverhampton Crown Court jury: "He had come to Smethwick for one last time to say goodbye to friends.

"The two men were chatting and drinking - there was an open bottle of vodka which I closed - but I thought they were enjoying themselves. There was no sign of an injury on Gurmukh."


She left around noon and an hour later a CCTV camera captured him being thrown unconscious from the house onto the slabbed front path.

He was taken to hospital but was certified dead soon afterwards.

The face of the person who ejected him was not visible but a leg with grey jogging bottoms and part of a distinctive blue Adidas jacket could be seen.

These matched the clothes worn by 51-year-old Hayre during the previous two days.


White Road was cordoned off.

The blood of the victim was later found on the jogging bottoms which he was still wearing when arrested and on the wall, carpet and a chair in the living room where they had been drinking.

Mr Singh had 29 fractures to his ribs together with further fractures to his breast bone, both eye sockets and either side of his thyroid cartilage where the defendant had tried to throttle him.

The alcohol level in his blood was almost four times the drink-drive limit.

Hayre insisted he had neither argued with, nor struck, the victim who, the defendant claimed, was still unhurt when he went to sleep upstairs.

A police forensic tent at the scene where Gurmukh Singh was found

When asked to explain how the murder could have taken place without his involvement he replied: "Black magic. I think they sent somebody to kill me but maybe they have killed him."

The defendant showed no emotion as he was given a minimum sentence of 19 years - minus the time he spent in custody awaiting his trial - which he must serve before being considered for parole.

Judge Amjad Nawaz told Hayre, who had numerous previous convictions involving drink and violence: "He was your drinking buddy and not in the best of health but you subjected him to a high degree of violence.

"It was a short and sudden explosion of ferocious violence for reasons best known to you and you were convicted on the strongest evidence one could imagine."

Detective Inspector Michelle Allen, from the force’s homicide team, said after the hearing: "This is a tragic case where an elderly man was viciously beaten and left for dead in broad daylight.

"We do not know what caused Hayre to react in such a callous way before retiring to bed like nothing had happened."

John Scott

By John Scott
Reporter/News Feature Writer

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