Shammi Atwal, 45, from Chigwell, died as the gang targeted his cash and carry Glenn & Co in Barking in October last year.

Shammi Atwal was killed as he attempted to protect his business

Shammi Atwal was killed as he attempted to protect his business

First published in News
Last updated

The wife of a father who died as he tried to protect his business from robbers has spoken of her family's suffering since his death, as those responsible were convicted of killing him.

Shammi Atwal, 45, from Chigwell, died as the gang targeted his cash and carry, Glenn & Co, in Barking in October last year.

The six lay in wait outside the business as guard dogs were taken for a walk.

As Mr Atwal and his wife, Damanjeet Kaur, arrived at the business, the gang smashed their way in armed with an array of weapons, including sledgehammers and metal bars.

They charged at cashiers and threatened them while demanding money.

One of the gang then grabbed Mrs Kaur by the hair and threatened her with a metal rod, while another stole her bag containing £1,000 in cash.

On hearing shouts for help, Mr Atwal and his staff rushed to the main warehouse and the robbers attempted to flee through the main gate.

After a delivery driver failed to stop one of the gang with a punch, Mr Atwal pursued the robbers and managed to grabbed hold of one.

A struggled ensued, resulting in Mr Atwal falling into the road and in the path of a lorry.

Mr Atwal was tended to by his distraught wife but he was later pronounced dead at the scene.

The gang discarded a pair of gloves as they made their escape.

These contained traces of Mrs Kaur’s blood and were later forensically linked to Vidmantas Gorskoves, Aurimas Diliunas and Reiniks Kivers.

Police also found CCTV showing Farhan Sheikh accompanying Edgaras Balezantis to a B&Q branch to buy the gloves, having earlier purchased a sledgehammer.

Detectives also discovered the BMW 5 series used in the robbery belonged to Sheikh and stolen number plates were used on the day of the raid.

The gang were all arrested in October and November last year.

Gorskoves, 26, of Grange Road, Plaistow; Diliunas, 27, of Rosslyn Road, Barking; Sheikh, 39, of Thornhill Gardens, Barking; Sumskas, 25 of Otley Road, Canning Town; Kivers, 28, of no fixed abode and Balezantis, 25, of Tollgate Road, East Ham, were today at the Old Bailey found guilty of manslaughter and conspiracy to commit robbery.

Following the convictions, Mrs Kaur said: "Shammi was the most loving husband and father.

"Since that Monday I don't know how to cope or live anymore.

“My life took a 360 degree turn. We have lost the children's father, my husband and it is very hard for me and the children.

"This is something we will live with for the rest of our life and I will see my kids grow up without their dad and I am finding that very hard to cope with.

“There are no words to express how we are feeling - we are just living. We miss him all the time and always will".

The gang are due to be sentenced on Friday.

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