2 convicted in UK for killing Sikh teen in case of mistaken identity

by IANS |

London, March 7 (IANS) Two teenagers have been found guilty of murdering a 16-year-old Sikh boy who they mistakenly thought belonged to a rival gang in West London.

Vanushan Balakrishnan and Ilyas Suleiman, both 18 year-olds from Hillingdon, were found guilty of murdering Rishmeet Singh, following a trial at the Old Bailey on Monday.

Rishmeet, who came to the UK in October 2019 with his mother and grandmother to seek asylum from Afghanistan, was mistakenly targeted and murdered after being stabbed 15 times while lying defenseless on the ground.

"I have lost my husband and now I have lost my only child, my son. Justice is finally served for Rishmeet but their sentence will never be enough for me. They have taken my whole life away from me and Rishmeet will never come home again," the victim's mother Gulinder said in a statement.

The court heard that on the night of November 24, 2021, Rishmeet was walking home when he saw two unknown males running towards him.

He ran down Raleigh Road, in Southall, where he tripped and fell, according to a Metropolitan Police release.

One of his pursuers then stabbed him at least five times in the back, and the second one stabbed him at least 10 times.

His attackers then fled, leaving his bloodied and injured body on the ground, the Met Police said, adding that the whole attack lasted 27 seconds.

Officers and the London Ambulance Service scrambled to the scene after receiving a 999 call from a member of the public, but despite their best efforts Rishmeet died at the scene.

Enquiries revealed that Balakrishnan and Suleiman dumped their bikes near the bridge and chased after Rishmeet on foot, with Balakrishnan attacking him first followed by Suleiman.

They are captured on CCTV fleeing the scene, and are clearly identifiable from the distinctive clothing and Covid masks they were wearing - including Balakrishnan's dark trousers with a white stripe behind the knee.

While Balakrishnan was arrested on suspicion of murder at his home address on December 2, 2021, Suleiman was held from an address in Edgware on December 9.
The pair will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on April 28, 2023.

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