Gang leader gets life for killing boy

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The Independent Online
JOHN McKIE

A man responsible for a "cowardly and brutal" gang attack on a 15-year- old schoolboy was jailed for life for his murder at the Old Bailey yesterday.

Badrul Miah, 20, had boasted they had "stabbed up a white boy" shortly after Richard Everitt collapsed dying on a north London pavement.

Miah was the ringleader of a 10 strong Asian mob who were bent on racial revenge in the Somers Town area of north London on 13 August last year.

After five and a half hours' deliberation, the jury found Miah guilty by a majority verdict of conspiracy to murder, conspiracy to inflict grievous bodily harm and violent disorder.

Judge Heather Steel told Miah, 20, of King's Cross: "A 15-year-old innocent boy was cruelly killed for no apparent reason.

"It was a wicked crime. No sentence I pass will restore that life which was so cruelly taken."

However, Judge Steel acknowledged that whoever had administered the fatal stab wound had not been brought to justice. The court was told during the trial told that some of the gang had returned to Bangladesh, but the judge said Miah and another defendant, Showkat Akbar, were the "ringleaders" of the attack on Everitt. "You two alone stand to carry the can for what happened on that night."

Akbar, 19, also of King's Cross, was sentenced to three years in a youth detention centre after the jury found him guilty of violent disorder.

After the case, Richard Everitt's parents, Mandy and Norman, said: "We'd just to say we are extremely pleased with the verdict. I'd like to thank the police for what was a very difficult investigation.

"The last 14 months have been a living nightmare for us and we are grateful that this part of it is over and we now want to get back to repairing what is left of our lives."

Detective Superintendent Derek Bell, who led the investigation, said there were no plans to continue investigating the case, but added: "If any further evidence comes to light I shall review it."

Richard Everitt was stabbed after a group of 10 young Asians took it upon themselves to take revenge on a white teenager called Liam, who they believed had stolen jewellery from one of their friends.

At the start of the trial, which began on 5 October, John Bevan, for the prosecution, told the jury: "It is plain the group's blood was up. Their purpose was to punish Liam or anyone else convenient. He [Richard] was a mild-mannered and harmless 15-year-old boy who presented an easy target."

Throughout the trial, both the judge and Mr Bevan urged the jury not to allow themselves to be "sidetracked" by the racism thought to have provoked the attack.

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