Pair jailed for life for savage park killing

Two men have been jailed for life after being found guilty of murdering a man who was viciously assaulted in a Sandwell park last summer.

Anthony Bird was attacked in Victoria Park, Tipton on the morning of Sunday 26 July 2020 by Steven Bennett and Suni Singh Gill.

Horrified families with children witnessed the pair repeatedly kick and punch Anthony in a savage attack. 

Click here to see video used in securing the convictions.

Bennett and Gill fled the park leaving Anthony lying unresponsive on the floor. He eventually got up and despite the severity of his injuries managed to make his way to his niece’s house, a short walk from the park.

Murderer: Steven Bennett
Murderer: Steven Bennett 

When Anthony arrived she took one look at him and immediately called an ambulance.

Anthony was taken to hospital with serious head injuries, a fractured jaw and cheekbone. He remained in hospital for over two weeks where his health rapidly deteriorated and he sadly passed away on 12 August. 

Although CCTV didn’t capture the assault, it did capture Bennett and Gill after they had assaulted Anthony which showed them laughing and re-enacting the disgusting attack they had just carried out.

An investigation had already been launched into the assault of Anthony with Bennett and Gill identified through witness statements and CCTV. 

Murderer: Suni Singh Gill
Murderer: Suni Singh Gill

Items were seized from Bennett and Gill’s homes. A pair of trainers belonging to Bennett were recovered and analysed, showing traces of Anthony’s blood on the sole. 

Bennett was interviewed and claimed that he had been falsely identified. Gill answered no comment throughout his interview. 

Following a lengthy trial, yesterday (12 Oct) at Wolverhampton Crown Court, Stephen Bennett and Suni Singh Gill were found guilty of Anthony’s murder. They were jailed for life with a minimum of 18 years today.

Anthony’s family said: “We have to live with the memory of visiting our dad in hospital following the violent attack on him last summer. It was huge shock to see how badly beaten Dad had been and it is a memory that we are worried will stay with us forever. 

Anthony Bird: "A caring, kind man"
Anthony Bird: "A caring, kind man"

“Our dad was an extremely caring and kind man. He was very proud of his children and was over the moon to be a grandfather. Sadly he never got to meet his second grandson who was born a month after he was killed. 

“We will never understand why anybody would want to take our dad’s life in such a brutal manner. We can only hope and place our trust in the justice system to punish those responsible accordingly.” 

Detective Inspector Adam Jobson, from Force CID, said: “This was a vicious attack on Anthony in front of horrified families and young children. 

“I want to say a massive thank you to the witnesses who came forward and provided important information. Without a doubt we couldn’t have got here without you. 

“Our hearts go out to the family of Anthony who have sat through this trial and have listened to many untruthful things about their father. I hope they can take some comfort knowing their father’s attackers are now behind bars.”

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