A MAN accused of attacking an official during an incident at Leamington’s Sikh temple, which led to some 55 people being arrested, will not stand trial until early next year.
Gursharan Singh appeared at Warwick Crown Court charged with religiously aggravated common assault following the incident at the Gurdwara Sahib temple on September 11 last year.
Prosecutor Matthew Brook alleged that ‘at the time of the assault or immediately before doing so, he demonstrated hostility based on membership or presumed membership of a religious group.’
Although 34 year-old Singh is himself a Sikh, it is said the incident arose out of the reaction by part of the Sikh community to mixed marriages at the temple in Tachbrook Park Drive.
And Judge Richard Griffith-Jones remarked: “What everyone would want is a peaceful resolution, to respect people’s views. I would be very sorry if the court process makes things worse.”
Following legal arguments over a submission made by Talbir Singh, defending, Singh pleaded not guilty to religiously aggravated common assault on Bhopinder Singh Aujla.
Singh, of Wentworth Drive, Holbrooks, Coventry, also denied an alternative charge of assaulting Mr Aujla, a religious officer at the Gurdwara, by beating.
Following a further discussion about the venue for the trial, Judge Griffith-Jones said it would be heard at Coventry Crown Court.
But he pointed out that the court was fully listed for trials for the rest of the year – so Singh’s trial could not be heard until the end of January next year.
Singh was granted bail until then with a condition he does not attend the Gurdwara Sahib.
Another of the 55 men arrested following the incident, Kulvinder Bir Singh, 37, of Tilehurst Drive, Coventry, appeared before the court in January, charged with religiously aggravated criminal damage, but his case was adjourned without him being arraigned.