How killers planned Stoke DPD worker's 'public execution' before celebrating with blood-soaked weapons

Rarely does a crime of such horrifying brutality happen in a normally quiet neighbourhood. But that's exactly what happened when a Stoke-on-Trent DPD worker was hacked to death with an axe on a suburban street.

Aurman Singh's final moments were of overwhelming terror as a murderous gang of masked thugs set their sights on him, intent on his slaughter. But the killing would not have been possible if it had not been for the insider information handed over to them by another DPD worker in Stoke.

Following the initial attack, 23-year-old Aurman made a short-lived bid for freedom, sprinting a few yards as the yells of his killers echoed behind him. But he collapsed in a pool of blood to the ground, where the gang wielded their arsenal of weapons to inflict damage of the worst kind.

Their vicious onslaught was over in 'seconds' - but it was enough time to end their victim's life. in a pool of his own blood after being bludgeoned to death with an axe, golf club, wooden stave, metal bar, hockey stick, shovel, knife and cricket bat.

READ: Gang jailed for murder of Stoke-on-Trent DPD driver Aurman Singh arrived for work at the Etruria depot at 6.52am - by 1.05pm he was dead

READ: Armed mob who chopped at Stoke DPD worker's head convicted of horror murder - Four men have been convicted of murdering Aurman Singh after he left the Stoke depot, while a fifth has been found guilty of manslaughter

READ: Mum of Stoke DPD worker brutally murdered by armed mob tells of 'unbearable loss' - 'There are no words that could ever explain the impact this tragedy has had on me and my family'

Stunned members of the public who had been enjoying the bright summer's day rushed to his aid, troubled by the maimed body they discovered outside their homes. Aurman had been so critically injured, his brain was exposed.

His ear was 'partially amputated', his rib was cut in half, BirminghamLive reports. A loose piece of skull was later discovered within the body bag during his post-mortem.

'Naively' convinced they could get away with their murderous act, the killers rushed away from the scene in two cars. But there was 'little attempt to avoid detection'.

Some of the weapons used to kill Aurman were dumped just 1.5 miles from the scene of their crime moments after they fled. A police helicopter then trailed one of the getaway cars, capturing the exact moment one killer made a bungled attempt to ditch in a wheelie bin an axe used to inflict the fatal injury.

A 'celebration video' was even recorded by another killer - in the vehicle they had made their escape in, with two 'blood-stained' weapons used during the murder clearly on show. The killers may have 'carefully planned' their murder - but their escape was foiled.

Four of Aurman's killers were arrested in the Black Country less than two hours after they executed their violent plan. Arshdeep Singh, Jagdeep Singh, Shivdeep Singh and Manjot Singh were jailed for life at Stafford Crown Court last Friday (April 12).

Four others are still wanted by police - they are Harpreet Singh, Arshdeep's cousin Mehakdeep Singh, Harwinder Singh Turna and Sehajpal Singh. Prosecutors say they fled the scene of the murder in Shrewsbury in a Mercedes and have since vanished.

But it was a fifth man. Sukhmandeep Singh who worked with Aurman at DPD's depot who 'betrayed' his colleague and offered up details of his whereabouts to the culprits.

During the murder trial, he insisted he feared for his own life and that of his new bride after receiving threats from convicted killer Arshdeep and his cousin Mehakdeep. The pair were 'desperate' to find Aurman and cause him some harm - and Sukhmandeep knew this, prosecutors say.

Prosecutor Simon Denison KC told Stafford Crown Court: "He knew that at least Arshdeep and Mehakdeep were desperate to find Aurman that day in order to inflict violence upon him. He did nothing to stop it."

On the fateful day, Sukhmandeep had 'unrestricted and unsupervised' access to the DPD Universal system. He used it to find out the route Aurman was set to take.

Footage captured the dramatic moment
Jagdeep Singh, top left, Arshdeep Singh, top right, Shivdeep Singh, 26, bottom left, Manjot Singh, 24, bottom right, and Sukhmandeep Singh, middle

After the victim entered the depot in the early morning, Sukhmandeep was captured on footage taking a photograph of the DPD and its registration plate. This was then sent to the killers.

Without Sukhmandeep's 'contribution', the ferocious plan could not have been carried out. Philip Bradley, defending Sukhmandeep, said: "This man caved in, effectively, through his own weakness, and on that basis, became involved."

After getting the information they needed, the killers gathered at Arshdeep's Tipton home just before 9.50am on August 21 last year. There their cruel plan was discussed, while 'deployment was finalised and weapons gathered'.

Each weapon was 'carefully curated' and had a 'legitimate purpose', Judge Kristina Montgomery KC said. Arshdeep - who was at the 'centre of everything that happened' - travelled in an Audi with his three fellow convicted killers while the four wanted men were in the Mercedes.

Aurman Singh was ambushed as he delivered parcels
The gang was filmed being arrested by armed police and a dog team who surrounded their Audi getaway car -Credit:West Mercia Police / SWNS

This was so Arshdeep could 'open an effective line of communication between the two vehicles and synchronise their movement'. Both vehicles travelled 'in convoy' to get fuel from Esso, in Dudley Port, Tipton, before stopping in the car park outside Castlefields Community Hub, in Shrewsbury.

A further meeting in a car park to 'finalise' arrangements took place, with CCTV footage capturing all men 'standing together' for 'several minutes' before leaving. The four wanted men even popped into a nearbyMorrisons Daily to reportedly grab some food.

Empty sandwich packets were later discovered by police in the Audi. The cars were recorded arriving in Coton Mount, Shrewsbury, and seen to be 'waiting' at 12.06pm.

Just after 1pm, the DPD van driven by Aurman's colleague pulled up in Berwick Avenue. The Mercedes and Audi followed the van, parking up directly behind it.

Aurman's unsuspecting co-worker got out of the van to deliver a parcel, while he remained in the front passenger seat on the phone to a friend. Judge Montgomery said: "He was totally unaware that the defendants and the other men who had been lying in wait for him were approaching as they had parked up directly behind the DPD van."

All but Shivdeep 'jumped' out of the van, with their sights firmly set on their victim, each of them donning a mask and brandishing a weapon. Jagdeep chopped at Aurman's head three times with the axe, with 'blows of such ferocity' that they went through to his skull, exposing the underlying fractured skull' and leaving 'bone exuding' from the injury.

Christopher Millington, defending Jagdeep, said the evidence did not suggest he was the 'leader of the group'. Arshdeep 'clubbed' the victim over the head with a golf club, with such force that it fractured his skull and 'partially detached' his ear.

It was wielded so brutally that the golf head broke off and the shaft was bent. Simon Spence, defending Arshdeep, told the court ahead of sentence: "He is still a young man, facing serving a minimum term longer than that period he has been on this earth.

"That is, of course, for any young man, an extremely daunting prospect." Manjot struck the victim repeatedly with a wooden stave, bashing his bleeding head.

Gurdeep Garcha, defending Manjot, said the defendant had led a 'blameless life' prior to Aurman’s killing. His parents had 'high hopes' for him and he came to the UK in search of a 'better life'.

Mr Garcha said: "This conduct was very much out of character." The cold-hearted killers then fled to the two cars, leaving Aurman to die on the side of the road.

Judge Montgomery went on to say: "In the course of the attack, at the hands of others, he was stabbed in the back with such force that the knife cut through one of his ribs. It was an act plainly intended to kill him."

Shivdeep, who stayed in the Audi, started to manoeuvre his car while the attack was taking place so it was ready for a speedy getaway. The vehicles were driven to nearby Hubert Way, where some of the weapons were dumped in a hedgerow.

Jagdeep then recorded his 'celebration video' once back in the Audi. Judge Montgomery said: "Jagdeep had recorded a video within minutes of the attack upon Aurman, whilst seated in the rear of the Audi.

"It showed him holding the axe, stained with Aurman’s blood, and Manjot holding the wooden stave, also heavily blood-stained. The voices [in the video] were celebrating the demise of Aurman, including specifying the means by which they had killed him and the injury that would have been the fatal one.

Police and forensics officers at the scene in Shrewsbury

"I have no doubt that the video was created with dissemination by direct sending to uploading to social media in mind." An unmarked police car caught sight of the Audi and trailed it before a police helicopter helped keep track of its movements.

It pulled up in Amphlett Croft, Tipton, where the axe was bundled into a hoodie and stashed in a wheelie bin by Arshdeep. The heavily blood-stained weapon had been wiped clean by this point.

Despite a police stinger being deployed, the Audi continued on its escape. But it eventually pulled over, with all four killers arrested as they were surrounded by armed police and dogs.

Judge Montgomery said: "This was an offence committed after a significant degree of planning. It was even, at the scene, well organised."

Balbir Singh, defending Shivdeep, said he did not arm himself with a weapon or get out of the Audi during the attack. But prosecutor Mr Denison said he was 'a party to the plan to attack'.

He knew there were 'potentially lethal' weapons stashed in his car and the Mercedes, Judge Montgomery added. All five men - from Punjab, India, and who had no previous convictions - were jailed for their part in the horrendous crime.

  • Arshdeep Singh, 24, of Shaw Road, Tipton, was jailed for life, with a minimum term of 28 years, after being unanimously convicted of murder

  • Jagdeep Singh, 23, of Goodrich Mews, Dudley, was jailed for life, with a minimum term of 28 years, after being unanimously convicted of murder

  • Shivdeep Singh, 27, of Greenfield Road, Smethwick, was jailed for life, with a minimum term of 28 years, after being unanimously convicted of murder

  • Manjot Singh, 24, of Greenfield Road, Smethwick, was jailed for life, with a minimum term of 28 years, after being unanimously convicted of murder

  • Sukhmandeep Singh, 25, formerly of Greenfield Road, Smethwick, was jailed for 10 years after being acquitted of murder but unanimously convicted of manslaughter

Sukhamandeep was told he must serve two-thirds of his sentence before he can be released. The killers must serve the entire minimum term before they are eligible for release by the Parole Board.

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