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31st Mar 2022

Chilling footage shows moment brothers slash police officers during shopping centre knife attack

Steve Hopkins

The brothers had an arsenal of weapons in their rucksack including a machete and a hammer

Dramatic body-cam video shows the moment brothers slash two police officers in the head during a knife attack at a shopping centre.

Maninder Hunjan, 26, and Parminder Hunjan, 37, launched the frenzied assault at New Square Shopping Centre in West Bromwich as screaming women and children fled for their lives on July 21 last year.

The brothers, both high on cannabis, pulled knives from a rucksack that contained an “armoury” of weapons before lunging at PC Leon Mittoo and PC James Willetts.

The officers can be heard shouting “he’s a got a knife” and “stop, stop now” as the brothers begin swinging the blades at them.

Mittoo rushes off to tell terrified shoppers “get back, get back now” before he returns to try and detain the armed men as they continue to lash out.

Body-cam and CCTV footage shows the officers desperately wrestling with the suspects. PC Mittoo suffered a slash wound to his head which required stitches and cuts to his hand while Willetts suffered a wound to the back of his head.

The Hunjan brothers went on trial at Wolverhampton Crown Court accused of attempted murder and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and also faced a charge of possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

Their bag contained a BB gun, a revolver, a machete, a serrated blade, a hammer, and a Bushman’s knife which a judge said was “consistent with terrorism.”

On Wednesday, the pair were cleared of attempted murder but convicted of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

The pair, of Smethwick, West Midlands, will be sentenced at the same court on May 9.

Judge Michael Chambers QC said after the verdicts that “everything in this case is consistent with the profile of terrorism”.

“Isolated dependence at home, spending most of their time on the internet, going around with backpacks full of lethal weapons.

“But I am clearly not going to sentence on the basis of terrorism unless there is evidential basis to support that.”

The court earlier heard that the officers had earlier tried to stop the Hunjan brothers under Section 60 stop and search powers with the men becoming violent outside a row of shops at the town centre shopping precinct.

The men continued to viciously slash and stab at the officers with their weapons despite being pepper-sprayed and a security guard also rushing to help.

Giving evidence, Parminder Hunjan blamed his “prolonged cannabis use” for not thinking clearly and claimed he did not try to stab anyone.

Maninder Hunjan told jurors he was “paranoid and anxious” at the time and thought the police officers were “trying to attack him and his family”.

He claimed he did not realise Mittoo and Willetts were police officers.

Mittoo told the jury he was “fighting for his life” and added: “I thought I was going to die. I was bleeding. I intended to survive. I can’t remember how many times he tried to stab me, my stab vest protected me.”

Witnesses described seeing Maninder trying to stab Willetts in the head at least three times.

Recalling the attack, Willetts said after the case: “One of the men ran towards me screaming brandishing something and swinging around erratically. They continued to run towards us screaming. I could see Leon getting chased so I started heading towards him but then I suddenly felt a massive sharp pain in the back of my head and my helmet went flying onto the floor. I could see Leon getting chased by Parminder who was still swinging the knife.

“I thought, either one of us are going at this point – in our training we’re taught if it ever comes to knives, a slice in the wrong place and you can bleed out in minutes.”

Mittoo added: “Considering the items we found on them, it was a very lucky escape. It was a miracle really that we only got minor injuries “We’re glad we stopped them and not someone else, like the security staff.”

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