Man jailed for killing hospital worker

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A thug who celebrated carrying out a fatal attack on a hospital worker as if he had just scored a goal was jailed for eight years today.

Father-of-two Jagtar Johal, 37, knocked Richard Price to the ground with a glass or bottle before kicking and stamping on him.

Johal shouted "Come on" as he and his friends left 23-year-old Mr Price unconscious and dying, the Old Bailey heard.

Mr Price was attacked last Halloween after a row in a nearby pub when he had refused to buy another man a drink, the court was told.

The 23-year-old, who worked at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital, died three days after the assault, which took place in an alleyway in Bromley, Kent.

Jonathan Rees QC, prosecuting, said: "Some of those who witnessed the sickening attack described the behaviour of the group being like a pack of animals."

Johal, of Bromley, was cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter when he was tried alongside three others earlier this year.

Murat Karabeyaz, 25, of Catford, south east London, was also acquitted of murder but jurors were unable to decide on the charge of manslaughter and he faces a retrial.

Param-Jit Theara, 25, of Eltham, south east London, and Michael Liddell, 20, of Ealing, west London, were cleared of all charges.

Judge Peter Thornton said Mr Price may have struck the first blow during the incident but it was an "uneven contest".

He said it was "quickly all over" and the victim was left unconscious on the floor, dying.

The judge told Johal: "You struck him viciously over the back of the head with a glass or bottle. You kicked him and stamped on his head.

"You all left together, according to one witness, celebrating, as if you had just scored a goal.

"There was evidence that as part of the celebration you, Johal, shouted 'Come on'. You even returned later for your keys which you had dropped in the alley, and still did not help him."

The judge said Johal had a "bad record of violence", with previous convictions for violent disorder, affray, actual bodily harm and robbery.

He said there was evidence that the assault on Mr Price was a "sustained attack" and a "fast-moving, frightening incident".

But he said the jury "could not be sure of the roles of individual defendants" in the violence.