Murder accused Jai Singh ‘denied appropriate care’ before death, court told

Jai Singh, 50, had been charged with murdering 40-year-old Sukhjeet Uppal

A husband accused of murdering his wife died behind bars after prison staff allegedly failed to offer him mental health support, a court has heard.

Jai Singh Puni – also known as Jai Singh – died at HMP Birmingham while he awaited court proceedings over the death of his ‘kind-hearted’ wife Sukhjeet Uppal.

Wolverhampton Crown Court heard that the state-run prison was sent multiple emails about Singh’s mental health before his death.

But the 50-year-old was allegedly ‘not offered’ the appropriate care and died in custody on January 28, his solicitor claimed.

Balbir Singh, defending, told the court he had been asked to raise concerns about Singh’s ‘care and the conduct of his incarceration’ during the hearing.

He said: “Many emails were sent about his mental standing and health but it appears, perhaps, the appropriate care, which will be investigated in due course, was not offered to him.”

Singh was previously charged with murdering 40-year-old Ms Uppal, who was stabbed to death at her Black Country home last year.

She was repeatedly stabbed in Tangmere Road, Wolverhampton, at about 8pm on September 19.

Judge Michael Chambers QC directed that criminal proceedings against Singh officially come to an end on Monday (February 7).

He said: “I’m solely concerned with the criminal proceedings and the allegation of murder, and I make no further comment as to the circumstances surrounding the defendant’s death.”

Last week, Birmingham Coroner’s Court heard Singh – also of Tangmere Road, Ettingshall – suffered ‘catastrophic brain damage’.

A post-mortem examination revealed the former HGV driver had multiple organ failure and suffered a cardiac arrest due to asphyxia.

Singh, who was born in India, was pronounced dead at Birmingham City Hospital.

West Midlands Police said there were no suspicious circumstances around Singh’s death and no other suspects were being sought over his wife’s alleged murder.

Ms Uppal’s family paid tribute to her last year and said: “Our beautiful, kind-hearted sister was one of the most caring and loving people you could ever meet. People who knew her will know this. She never held grudges and loved everyone.

“She has been taken from her children, from a mother and from her brother and sister. This was not her time to go yet, she had so much love to offer. Her children still need her love, support and wise words.

“We will never overcome our sister’s loss and never forgive the people involved who took our beautiful sister away from us.”

A final inquest hearing over Singh’s death will be held on February 27 next year.

The Ministry of Justice declined to offer further comment while investigations into Singh’s death were ongoing.

A Prison Service spokesman previously said: “Jai Singh died in hospital. The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman has been informed.”

* Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at jo@samaritans.org

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