Teenage British gang confesses to killing Indian sailor

February 24th, 2009 - 5:48 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Feb 24 (IANS) Three drunk teenagers have pleaded guilty to killing an Indian sailor they had targeted for a racist attack.
Gregory Fernandes, 32, was out for a drink with his friend Pithilnaviram Vinod on Oct 20, 2007 when the gang-members aged between 14 and 17 pounced on him in the town of Fawley, Hampshire.

The teenagers, who said they wanted to “beat up a Paki,” pleaded guilty at Winchester Crown Court Monday. One of the three also admitted to violent disorder.

Two other teenagers who also took part in the assault pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm and assault. Both are now 15.

Speaking after the case, Detective Inspector Dave Dilly said: “Mr Fernandes suffered heart failure brought on by the stress of the attack.

“He was having a drink and then a takeaway and there were lots of youths hanging around who had been drinking. Some part of that group chased him and his friend up the road and set upon him.

“A member of the public, Jody Miles, intervened and rescued Mr Fernandes, put him in his car and drove him to Fawley refinery.

“He then went back to help Mr Vinod. But within seconds of being dropped off at the front gate, Mr Fernandes dropped down dead from heart failure brought on by the attack.”

He said some of the gang members “prior to setting eyes on Mr Fernandes, were saying they wanted to beat up a Paki - that was the sort of language being used.”

Nigel Pascoe QC, prosecuting, said the attack did not severely injure Mr Fernandes who suffered only a broken tooth, but the pleas indicated the “very serious responsibility” of the trio in the death of the sailor.

The three had faced a murder charge, which they had denied, and the prosecution accepted the lesser count.

Vinod suffered a broken collarbone in the assault. Both men were working on a cargo ship docked at Fawley oil refinery when the killing occurred.

The judge adjourned the case and ordered pre-sentence reports on all five, who will be sentenced next month.

The three who admitted killing Mr Fernandes were remanded in custody and the other two were granted bail.

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