Men Get Life For Plumstead Murder

Two men have been sentenced for the murder of a Plumstead garage owner.

The men were convicted and sentenced at Wood Green Crown Court on Tuesday 14th April 2013

Both 34 year old Robert Burrows, of Kelvin House, Dylan Rd, in Belvedere and 40 year old Henry Clifford Collins, of Parkside Lodge, Erith Road, in Belvedere, pleaded guilty to robbery during the course of the trial, which commenced on 19 February, before being found guilty of murder.

They were both sentenced to life imprisonment for murder with a recommendation to serve a minimum of 23 years and eight years imprisonment for robbery.

A 44 year old woman was previously found guilty at Wood Green Crown Court on 15.4.2013 of robbery.  Surinder Chana of Lower Park Road, Belvedere, will be sentenced on 24 May 2013.

The victim, 54-year-old Prabjot Singh Rayat, was attacked at around 0300hrs on Friday 8 June 2012 at Rayat Autos - a garage / M.O.T. business run by Mr Rayat on a small industrial estate at Nathan Way, Plumstead SE28.

On occasions, Mr Rayat would sleep at the garage, and he was there on the night of 8 June when Burrows, Collins and Chana carried out the robbery.

Chana had known Mr Rayat for around 15 years and had been known to borrow money from him. She gained entry to the garage premises together with Collins and Burrows, and the two men grabbed the victim around the neck and stabbed him.

The trio failed to access the safe, but are believed to have robbed the victim of around £200 in cash.

Mr Rayat's body was found later that morning and police were called. A post-mortem examination at Greenwich Mortuary gave cause of death as a stab wound.

Mr Rayat of Bexleyheath was married. He had two sons and a daughter, all aged in their late teens or early 20s.