A MAN has been sentenced to life for the murder of a drinking companion in Hayes.

On the second day of a trial at Isleworth Crown Court on Tuesday (27), Manpreet Singh, 21, of no fixed address, admitted murdering Baljit Singh.

The life sentence carries a minimum term of 12 years.

The judge described the murder as a sustained and brutal act, a mindless piece of violence triggered by drink.

Manpreet Singh had met Baljit in the weeks prior to the attack, after travelling down from Birmingham, with a mutual acquaintance, to seek work.

The pair had briefly lived together but had fallen out just prior to the attack.

Since then, Manpreet Singh – who was struggling with excessive drinking – had been living on the streets with his friend.

Despite this, in April 2020 all three met up in the early evening and drank together at a venue at Uxbridge Road, Hayes.

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Baljit was extremely drunk by the end of the evening and left with Manpreet and their friend.

CCTV footage captured the three of them walking together, with Baljit struggling to stay upright.

Just after 10pm, Manpreet and Baljit entered an alleyway off Station Road, where Manpreet launched his deadly assault.

Baljit’s body was discovered at around 10.45pm by a passer-by. A post-mortem showed he had suffered broken bones in his neck, sternum and ribs, along with various bruises and lacerations.

Manpreet initially denied being with Baljit, but, after being shown CCTV footage of the pair, he changed his story. He admitted he had been with him but denied the attack.

However, on the second day of the trial, he pleaded guilty.

Det Insp Adam Guttridge said: “The actions of Manpreet Singh have left the victim's teenage daughters without a father and struggling to cope financially in their home back in India. His family are devastated by their loss.”