British teens jailed for killing Indian sailor in race attack

March 21st, 2009 - 7:06 pm ICT by IANS  

London, March 21 (IANS) A British court has sentenced three teenagers to six-and-a-half years each in custody for killing an Indian sailor in a racist attack. Two other boys were sentenced to detention for 12 months and 18 months.
Gregory Fernandes, 32, of Goa, had been out in Fawley in the coastal port city of Southampton, in October 2007 when he was attacked by a group of youths.

The three boys, who are now aged between 16 and 18, had admitted manslaughter and inflicting grievous bodily harm on another sailor, Fernandes’ shipmate Vinod Pitchilnaviram.

The three will serve their sentences at a young offenders’ institution, Justice Royce told Winchester Crown Court Friday.

Two other boys, both 15 years old now, were given 12 months’ and 18 months’ detention respectively for the assault on Pitchilnaviram.

The two Indian sailors were walking toward the cargo ship The Garonne, berthed at Fawley oil refinery, when they were attacked by a group of about 20 teenagers.

A passerby took Fernandes to the docks, where he collapsed and died, while Pitchilnaviram suffered a broken shoulder.

Floriano Fernandes, the sailor’s father, told the BBC: “Even I’ve been in England but it wasn’t like this before.

“I felt very safe, but now it seems to be a very unsafe place, especially for Indians. How can somebody kill in such a manner?”

Pitchilnaviram, whose wages support his parents and four sisters in Kerala, India, told the BBC the incident left him “disturbed”.

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