Page last updated at 16:40 GMT, Saturday, 9 January 2010

Man stabbed to death chasing muggers in east London

Sukhwinder Singh
Mr Singh gave chase before being stabbed to death

A man has been stabbed to death while chasing thieves who had snatched a woman's handbag in east London.

Sukhwinder Singh, 31, was attacked on Friday evening as he pursued two men who had mugged a 28-year-old woman near Barking station.

Mr Singh, a builder, had chased the men along Victoria Road, into Uphall Road, where he was stabbed at about 1900 GMT, the Metropolitan Police said.

The father-of-one was taken to the Royal London Hospital but died.

Police said Mr Singh was an Indian national who had lived in the UK for about 10 years.

According to the Met, he had cousins in Barking but his family lived in India.

'Very brave'

Police have set up a cordon around the murder scene and officers have been searching bins in Victoria Road.

Mohammad Jubran, 22, who lives in Victoria Road, said: "I was just coming back from the gym and, when I got home, my mum said she heard someone screaming, calling out 'Don't let them run'.

"It's terrible. I've been living here for 16 years and it's the first time I have heard someone has been murdered.

"It was a brave thing he did."

Aerial view of stabbing scene

The two suspects were described as black, aged in their 20s to 30s, and both were about 5ft 7in to 6ft.

Detective Inspector John Sandlin said Mr Singh was not connected to the woman whose bag was snatched.

He described Mr Singh's actions as "very brave" but added: "I would not encourage members of the public do that."

He said: "This is a tragic death of a man who was killed for attempting to stop others committing crime.

"I am appealing for anyone that knows who committed this crime, or who has any information about those who committed this crime, to do the right thing and come forward and contact police."

He also urged anyone who had seen the robbery, the following altercation or people fleeing the area to come forward.

"It is also possible that the suspects may have abandoned the bag stolen and I appeal to anyone who may find a brown leather shoulder bag, to contact police," he added.

'Would help anybody'

A committed Sikh, Mr Singh used to go to Singh Sabha London East Gurdwara in North Street, Barking, every evening after work.

Nirmal Singh Gill, who represents the Longbridge ward on Barking and Dagenham Council, said he knew Mr Singh by his nickname "Bittu".

"He was a very nice young man," he said. "He used to go to Gurdwara every evening and was always helping.

"He didn't drink at all and was a very clean-living person.

"He would help anybody so it doesn't surprise me that he was trying to help a lady.

"He didn't deserve this - nobody deserves it - but he was a special young man."

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