Bentilee murder trial: Witness tells of hearing racist abuse before stabbing

A FRIEND of stabbing victim Dalbagh Singh Malhi has told a jury he heard racist abuse before the pair were attacked in the street.

Matthew Poole was with 29-year-old Mr Malhi – who was known as Bugsy – when he was stabbed to death in Bentilee.

Lee Shaw, aged 34, is on trial accused of murdering Mr Malhi on May 13 last year.

The prosecution alleges Shaw attacked Mr Malhi, below, after drinking and taking drugs at a party, because he was ‘wound up’ that a taxi failed to pick him up.

Shaw, of Community Drive, Smallthorne, admits killing Mr Malhi but denies murder.

He claims he acted in self defence.

Mr Poole yesterday told Stafford Crown Court he and Mr Malhi had been out drinking and were on their way to a different house party when he heard a man shouting a racist term as they neared Wellfield Road.

He said Mr Malhi ‘laughed it off’ and was in a ‘placid’ mood.

Mr Poole said he then saw a man and a Staffordshire Bull Terrier running towards them.

“The dog came running at us,” he said. “It was at my feet, it was barking and being aggressive.

“I saw a lad come running with the dog. He ran to Bugsy, who was behind me to my right.

“I didn’t see what happened, I was focused on the dog.

“Then I saw the man running away back to the house.

“I turned around and I saw Bugsy was lying in the road.”

Mr Poole said he ran to a nearby house to get help and when he returned he saw blood on Mr Malhi’s chest, and a cut ‘below his left breast’.

Mr Malhi, of Beverley Drive, Bentilee, had suffered several stab wounds, with a fatal blow penetrating his heart. Paramedics tried to resuscitate him but he was pronounced dead a short time later. Under cross-examination by Kim Hollis QC, Mr Poole admitted he was drunk when the incident happened and the events were ‘a blur’.

The court heard he suffered a cut to his hand during the confrontation, but said he could not remember how it happened.

Mr Poole also admitted he had previous convictions for violence, but denied having thrown any punches at Shaw.

The jury also heard from neighbours who saw the confrontation take place. Lee Howell was in his first floor flat in Wellfield Road when he saw a ‘scuffle’.

He said: “Bugsy and Matt were staggering back towards Housefield Road. There was another lad who was swinging drunken punches.

“Bugsy was in front of him but turning, trying to get away.”

Janet Preece, of Housefield Road, saw the defendant ‘push’ Mr Malhi from her window. Mr Malhi then ‘fell backwards and ended up lying in the road’, she said

The trial continues.

Stoke Sentinel