Two teens jailed for life in UK for murdering fellow Indian

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London, July 14

Two Indian-origin teenagers have been jailed for 34 years for fatally stabbing a 16-year-old boy in an "unbelievably callous and shocking case" of mistaken identity in the West Midlands region of England last year.

Ronan Kanda died on the spot after he was attacked by Prabjeet Veadhesa and Sukhman Shergill, both 17, with a machete and ninja sword in June 2022 in Wolverhampton.

Veadhesa was sentenced to life at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Thursday with a minimum of 18 years, while Shergill was jailed for life with a minimum of 16 years.

The court heard that although only Veadhesa inflicted the blows which killed Ronan, Shergill was found to have acted in the joint enterprise of Ronan’s murder.

According to the West Midlands Police, on June 29, 2022 Ronan had walked to a friend’s house to buy a PlayStation controller, when he was chased and struck twice by Veadhesa from behind.

Veadhesa, had collected a Ninja sword set and a large machete from a local post-office, which he had bought online.

He had taken a dislike to one of Ronan’s friends and the two had fought on a previous occasion.

"Ronan was taken completely by surprise and was utterly defenceless. He stumbled and called for help before collapsing in the road," police said, adding that Ronan’s injuries were too catastrophic to survive and he died at the scene.

Ronan suffered a 20 cm-deep wound in his back and hip area, and a 17 cm-deep wound in his chest.

Officers immediately launched an investigation and painstaking CCTV analysis led to four arrests within days.

“The pain of losing a child is immeasurable, but to also know that he was not the intended target adds a whole new layer of grief and I cannot begin to imagine the sorrow Ronan’s family feel," said Detective Inspector Ade George from the West Midlands Police Homicide who led the investigation.

“The defendants on trial are also too young to have thrown their lives away on such reckless actions that led to this tragedy. Their families too will suffer as they face lengthy prison sentences. There are no winners when knives remain on our streets and we will continue to crack down on those who think it’s acceptable to carry them,” he said.

According to the BBC, before passing sentence at Wolverhampton Crown Court, the judge lifted reporting restrictions on naming the teenagers.

He said he made the decision in part to send out a strong message about the seriousness of knife crime. Ronan’s family were left distraught by his death.

In a statement read to the court his mother, Pooja said: "I remember kissing his cheek and saying you look very handsome and waving at him before his father dropped him off to the snooker club -- I replay this in my mind every day. That was the last time I saw my son alive.

“With this I have lost a lifetime of dreams, plans, hopes and wishes. Nothing on this earth will satisfy my maternal desire to hold my son in my arms.”

Ronan’s father, Chander, wrote: “Ronan was not only my son -- he was my world, my friend and the soul of our family. He was the one that would make us laugh and realise that life is what you make it and enjoy our precious time on earth as a family.”

--IANS

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