London, Feb.28 : A British Indian shopkeeper who stabbed an armed robber to death in a desperate struggle to defend himself, wept with relief after learning that he would not be charged.
Tony Singh disclosed he had been "a few millimetres" from being killed by Liam Kilroe, a career criminal, who tried to mug him armed with a knife. Singh said he was about to drive home when Kilroe ordered him to hand over his day's takings.
According to The Telegraph, Singh refused and Kilroe, who was on bail at the time, having failed to appear at court on armed robbery charges, smashed the window of Singh's car to try to grab his money box.
The fight ended with Kilroe, 25, receiving a single fatal stab wound to the chest from his own knife.
Police arrested Singh on suspicion of murder and questioned him for several hours.
The father of three, who runs the Lifestyle Express convenience store and off-licence in Birleywood, Skelmersdale, Lancashire, was bailed after the February 17 incident.
John Dilworth, the assistant district Crown prosecutor for South West Lancashire, said yesterday that the Crown Prosecution Service had decided that Singh had acted in self defence.
"I tried to get away from the attacker but was left no option other than to defend myself. In the course of the attack I was stabbed to my head causing what could have been a life threatening injury and also repeated stab wounds to my back. In the struggle with my attacker I understand he suffered an injury but I do not know how that injury was caused. I do not want to be seen as a hero. I did no more or less than try to save my own life I extend my sympathy to the Kilroe family who after all have lost a son," Singh was quoted, as saying.
The law permits people to use "reasonable force" to defend themselves and others, but critics claim it is weighted in favour of the criminal.
Kilroe, from Billinge near St Helens, had a record of violence stretching back to 1999 when, aged 17, he was convicted for assault and burglary.