COVENTRY, UK—A young woman has been jailed for her notorious attack on an elderly Sikh which sparked outrage after mobile phone footage spread across the internet. Coral Millerchip had pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to assaulting Joginder Singh (causing him actual physical harm), who has since died from unrelated causes. The 20-year-old from Hillfields was jailed for two years along with a consecutive 20-month sentence for a burglary that she was found guilty of.
She had claimed 80-year-old Mr Singh from Canley, had touched her inappropriately as she stood with friends outside Sainsbury’s on Trinity Street in the city centre in August last year. He suffered a scratch to his nose and had pain throughout his body, and was kept in hospital overnight, but died three months later — although no other charges have been brought as a result.
Prosecutor Jonathan Veasey-Pugh said the victim suffered from Dementia and ‘could not really help as to what happened’, but relatives became aware of a mobile phone clip which was posted on the internet.
Mr Singh’s daughter-in-law said after the attack a change was noticed in him and it had an impact on the whole family. She also described the incident on the recording, which ended with Millerchip spitting on her father-in-law as he lay sprawled on the floor, with his turban having come off, as degrading — although the fact that it was posted online did help identify Millerchip as the attacker.
David Murray, defending, said reports on Millerchip showed she had had a very troubled childhood although she had accepted her behaviour was reprehensible and had shown remorse.
“There are real effects which have occurred to her family. Other family members have had to be relocated because of the notoriety of Miss Millerchip and she will have to live with that,” he added.
Detective Chief Inspector Matt Markham, from Coventry CID, described the attack as sickening.
“What happened to Mr Singh was deeply upsetting for everyone; it was a sickening assault.”
“Despite the fact we could not show the assault and his death were connected the close proximity of events is something we have explored in great detail and recognize the family’s trauma.”
Judge Sylvia de Bertodano told Millerchip: “You are here principally because of what you did to an elderly gentleman on the evening of August 10 last year. He was 80-years-old and he suffered from dementia. You pleaded guilty on a basis that he touched you in a way you took exception to, but you know that nothing justified what you did next. This was a man who was clearly very vulnerable. Even if his condition was not apparent to you, his age must have been. His family members were horrified at what had happened to him and because of that footage on the internet they were able to see how you had treated him.”
He continued, “It is clear it took away the little independence he had in the remaining months of his life. No matter what he had done, or what you thought he had done, he was no threat to you at all. You could have just walked away, but you set upon him and assaulted him in such a way that his turban was removed, and humiliated him by spitting at him. This was an attack on a very vulnerable elderly gentleman. Not only was there a kick which brought him to the ground, but you continued to assault him when he was defenseless, and the loss of his turban further humiliated him.”