Chhokar Attacked After Work, Trial Told

An Indian restaurant worker was attacked by three men as he returned home from his shift, a murder trial has heard.

Ronnie Coulter is accused of murdering Surjit Singh Chhokar in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire, in November 1998.

Elizabeth Bryce, Mr Chhokar's partner at the time, told the High Court in Glasgow she watched from her living-room window as he was "run'' across the street by three men.

The 56-year-old said she grabbed a garden spade and ran out of her Garrion Street home, shouting that she would get the police.

The witness, who knew the victim as Chhokar, said: "As he was crossing back over the road, Chhokar said 'they've stabbed me'.''

The court heard Mr Chhokar worked as a cook at the Pink Turban in Wishaw and returned after his shift to Ms Bryce's home some time after 11pm on November 4.

She said she saw him get out of his car, carrying a bottle of Irn Bru and take-away food, before three men "ran him across the street''.

Ms Bryce identified Ronnie Coulter and a David Montgomery as the two men holding Mr Chhokar's arms, and said Coulter's nephew Andrew was walking in front of him.

Coulter, 48, is charged with murdering Mr Chhokar by repeatedly attacking him with a knife or a similar weapon.

He denies the killing and forging Mr Chhokar's signature on a £100 giro cheque.

Ms Bryce said Mr Chhokar had spoken of a missing giro cheque on the day of his death and after making inquiries he told her he understood that it had been cashed at the post office by Andrew Coulter, who she had "known since he was a baby''.

The witness said she went to confront Andrew Coulter while Mr Chhokar was at work, telling him he would get into trouble.

She said he told her: "If anything happens to me, Chhokar is getting it.''

 

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