A 41-year-old Sikh woman, Kalwant Kaur, and her 22-year-old son, Jung Singh Lankanpal, both residing in Southampton, Hampshire, have been handed prison sentences totaling just under four years. The mother-son duo was charged with conspiring to commit burglary, a crime they pleaded guilty to in October. Their actions involved stealing a substantial sum of money collected by the local Sikh community in south-east England for a wedding fund.
At the sentencing held on Friday at Southampton Crown Court, Kalwant Kaur received a 15-month jail term, while her son, Lankanpal, was handed a 30-month sentence. The court heard that the pair made a cold and callous decision to steal approximately GBP 8,000 from individuals within their own community. Detective Constable Jess Swift, from the Western Area Crime Team of Hampshire Constabulary, remarked on their betrayal, stating, “Kaur and Lankanpal made a cold and callous decision to steal such a large sum of money from people they knew, money which was meant to help people in their community.”
Despite Kaur attempting to portray herself as a witness to the crime, investigators quickly established her complicity in orchestrating the burglary. Detective Swift emphasized the comprehensive nature of the inquiries that led to the guilty pleas and subsequent jail sentences. She expressed hope that the verdict would offer reassurance to the local community and deliver justice for the incident.
The theft occurred on September 15 at an address in Clovelly Road, Southampton. A group of women from the local Sikh community had organized a collection to fund a wedding within their community and were in the process of counting the money when the burglary took place. Intruders forced entry into the premises, with a man brandishing a gun threatening those present, demanding the surrender of the collected funds.
The escape vehicle used, a red Hyundai, was traced back to one of the women involved in the collection, ultimately identified as Kalwant Kaur. The investigation revealed her connection to the crime, dispelling any attempt to distance herself from the illicit act.
The stolen amount, GBP 8,000, has dealt a blow to the trust within the Sikh community, where the funds were intended to support a joyous occasion. The sentencing of Kaur and Lankanpal serves as a stern reminder of the consequences of betraying the trust placed in community bonds. The court’s decision aims to provide solace to the affected community and underscores the severity of the betrayal committed by the mother-son duo.