Former Ipswich shopkeeper’s murderer jailed for minimum of 17 years after stabbing following family row

Ujjal Singh

Ujjal Singh - Credit: Archant

A relative who murdered a former Ipswich shopkeeper after he made a disparaging remark about his son’s inability to father a child has been jailed for a minimum of 17 years.

Naunihal Singh

Naunihal Singh - Credit: Archant

Naunihal Singh whose son was married to the daughter of Ujjal Singh, of Wallace Road, Ipswich, stabbed his fellow father-in-law in the neck while he slept.

The murder occurred at a family gathering in Lidiard Street, Crumpsall, Manchester, over the weekend of November 29 and 30 last year.

During the evening of November 30, Naunihal Singh, 54, - who was visiting from India - and Ujjal Singh, 63 - who was visiting from Ipswich - had a dispute about their respective son and daughter’s ability to conceive.

In a heated discussion, fuelled by alcohol, father-of-four Ujjal Singh accused Naunihal Singh’s son of “firing blanks”.

As a result of a number other arguments, the son of Naunihal punched a glass photo frame injuring his hand.

Ujjal Singh was put to bed while the remaining family members, with the exception of Naunihal Singh, went to hospital to get his son’s hand treated.

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While Ujjal Singh was sleeping, Naunihal Singh went into his room and stabbed him in the neck.

He then fled, leaving the family to discover what police described as “the horrific scene” upon their return, before handing himself into police two days later.

Ujjal Singh moved to Ipswich from India when he was two-years-old and owned many businesses in the town, the last being KG Stores grocery shop in Woodbridge Road.

He attended St Helen’s Primary School and Tower Ramparts Secondary School. Mr Singh had been a market trader in Tower Ramparts and also owned a shop called Tots and Teens in Carr Street.

He had been married for 44 years, and had nine grandchildren and one great-grandson.

Hundreds of people from around the country attended his funeral at Seven Hills Crematorium, Nacton, at the end of December.

Naunihal Singh admitted murder when he appeared before Manchester Crown Court and has been sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 17 years and 39 days.

Senior Investigating Officer Bob Tonge, said: “This case is tragic from start to end and what should have been a normal family gathering ended in absolute tragedy.

“Two families have been destroyed by this awful incident, which basically stemmed from a family argument and was fuelled by alcohol.

“While alone with the victim, and feeling slighted and offended by comments directed at his son, Naunihal Singh callously went into Ujjal Singh’s room and without a second thought, stabbed him as he slept.

“He then fled, leaving his son, daughter-in-law and her family to discover his heinous crime.”