A man is facing a life sentence for beating his father to death with a cricket bat after dramatically changing his plea to guilty of murder part-way through his trial.

Phillip Tajinder Badwal will learn today the minimum term he must serve behind bars before he can even apply for parole following the “savage and sustained attack” on much-loved Santokh ‘Charlie’ Singh on November 30, 2020.

Badwal, 25, had pleaded guilty to the lesser offence of manslaughter but denied murder.

His trial began at Bradford Crown Court on Tuesday but late yesterday morning his barrister, Peter Moulson QC, told Judge Jonathan Rose that Badwal would now admit murder.

The jury was called back into the courtroom to hear him being arraigned on the murder charge and pleading guilty. He was remanded back into custody to be brought from prison at 2pm today.

Richard Wright QC, for the Crown, said victim impact statements were being prepared for the sentencing hearing.

Following Mr Singh’s brutal death, tributes flowed in for the man known affectionately by many as the King of Otley Road.

The much-loved grandfather was described by family members as happy, bubbly and caring, a real people person who made everyone laugh.

So far, the trial had heard Mr Wright opening the case for the prosecution and Mr Singh’s eldest sons, Charles and Richard, giving evidence.

Mr Wright said that Mr Singh died at the family home at Airedale Road, Undercliffe, Bradford, the day after his 59th birthday.

He said Badwal had killed him in a “savage and sustained” attack in which he was beat-en with a cricket bat, kicked with a shod foot and assaulted with a metal dog bowl.

Despite efforts by paramedics to save him, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The living room was covered in blood, with multiple attack sites identified by the forensic scientist, Mr Wright said. Wet blood had been projected on to surfaces while Mr Singh was injured and bleeding and possibly crawling defenceless on the floor.

Post-mortem evidence revealed that he had sustained serious injuries to his chest, extensive rib fractures, a fractured sternum and multiple skull fractures. His jaw was bro-ken and his nasal bone shattered. One leg had a broken tibia and fibula.

He had survived for half an hour after the attack began, Mr Wright said.

The police found a heavily bloodstained cricket bat in a neighbour’s garden with DNA on it that matched Mr Singh’s.

Mr Wright said Badwal had called 999 for an ambulance, saying his father had been assaulted and was in a reduced state of consciousness.

An ambulance crew and the police arrived to find Mr Singh propped up at the bottom of the stairs gravely injured. His head was covered in lacerations and he was unresponsive.

Mr Wright said that Charles and Richard Singh were Mr Singh’s sons from an earlier relationship. He later married and had two more sons, including Badwal.

The jury was told that Mr Singh was planning to move out of his home to a flat in Shipley.

His older sons had noticed a significant deterioration in him. He had lost his job and become “diminished,” saying that Phillip had threatened and assaulted him.

It was his 59th birthday the day before he died and his two eldest sons had taken him to see the new flat and given him gifts of money, a hip flask and Jack Daniels whiskey.

When he got home that night, Badwal was asking him to sort out the supply of Class A drugs to fuel his addiction, Mr Wright said.

He told the court the attack started at around 6.55am when a neighbour heard shouting and banging from next door.

At 7.56am, Mr Singh’s phone made a call to a drugs line and there were further calls that morning.

“It wasn’t Santokh Singh using the phone, he was already dead or dying,” Mr Wright said.

He said Badwal was using the phone to try to obtain drugs before calling for an ambulance at 8.25am.

Richard Singh told the court his father worked as an engineer for many years. He was happy and very social and they used to meet up in the pub.

He went to his father’s home in the weeks before his death and saw him asleep on the sofa. There was no TV or stereo in the house and the internal doors had huge holes in them. His father looked “tired and worn out,” Mr Singh said.

He said his father wanted to move out of the address and that Phillip bullied him and swore at him.

Richard Singh said his father had become “withdrawn, upset and unhappy,” and had lost weight.

Charles Singh, the eldest of Mr Singh’s sons, said his father used to be a happy man with a decent job. He raised money for charity and had everything he wanted.

When he and Richard regained contact with him a few weeks before his death he was skinny and unemployed.