Three found guilty of race-hate murder

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The Independent Online

Three Asian men were today found guilty of the race-hate murder of schoolboy Kriss Donald.

A jury at the High Court in Edinburgh took almost eight hours to convict Imran Shahid, 29, his brother Zeeshan Shahid, 28, and 27-year-old Mohammed Faisal Mushtaq of the abduction, assault and brutal killing on Monday March 15, 2004.

Imran Shahid was ordered to spend at least 25 years behind bars; Zeeshan Shahid must spend a minimum 23 years in prison; Mohammed Faisal Mushtaq will spend at least 22 years in prison.

Kriss, 15, was stabbed 13 times and set on fire while he was still alive, on a quiet walkway behind Celtic FC's training ground in the east end of Glasgow.

Kriss Donald's mother Angela shouted "You bastards" as the verdict was delivered.

During the trial, prosecutor Mark Stewart QC described the killing as " an appalling crime of inhumanity against a defenceless boy".

Over the 27 days of the trial, the court heard Kriss's badly burnt and semi-naked body was found by a cyclist on the secluded Clyde Walkway the morning after he was snatched from the street.

Investigators who rushed to the scene found pools of blood, a stench of petrol and scorch marks near the spot where the lifeless body lay.

Expert witnesses said they believed the 15-year-old was still alive as his body burned.

Kriss was snatched near his home in a random act of racially motivated revenge by the gang.

He was taken on a terrifying 200-mile journey across Scotland before being driven to a secluded spot on the banks of the River Clyde where he was attacked and left for dead.

All three accused had denied taking part in the killing, but the jury of six men and nine women today found Imran Shahid guilty by unanimous verdict and the other two guilty by majority verdicts.

Kriss's mother was hugged by her supporters as the verdict was read out.

Judge Lord Uist continued the case until after lunchtime when the three are expected to be sentenced.

Eye-witness accounts of the abduction, statements said to have been made by the accused, mobile phone records, and forensic evidence against one of the men helped snare the gang.

The court heard details of the previous convictions of the accused, who, it emerged, had all spent time in custody on other matters.

Prosecutor Mark Stewart QC, told the court Imran Shahid was convicted in 1995 at the High Court in Glasgow of assault to severe injury and permanent impairment and other assault charges. He was jailed for four-and-a-half years.

In February 2003, again at the High Court in Glasgow, he was sentenced to 30 months in jail for assault to severe injury and to the danger of life and offences under the Road Traffic Act.

Mushtaq had "more lengthy record", although not of the same magnitude, Mr Stewart said.

He has been convicted of a number of road traffic offences.

In 1999, he was convicted of assault and in 2002 he was convicted of assault and offences under the Police Scotland Act.

He had served a five-month prison sentence.

Zeeshan Shahid was convicted on a number of occasions on both summary level and on indictment.

He was convicted on indictment at a sheriff court in both 1998 and 2002.

The charges against him included culpable and reckless conduct, the court heard. He was sentenced to a period of custody of 18 months.