Leicester teenager jailed for killing dad-of-two Ponnuthurai Nimalaraja
A teenager has been jailed for three years for killing 41-year-old father-of-two, Ponnuthurai Nimalaraja.
The 15-year-old, from Leicester, was found guilty of manslaughter in November and was today sentenced to three years in prison at Derby Crown Court.
The youth, who cannot be identified because of his age, had denied manslaughter, claiming he punched Mr Nimalaraja in self-defence.
A 14-year-old boy, who pleaded guilty to affray at an earlier hearing, will be sentenced on Friday January 25.
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In June last year, detectives launched an investigation into Mr Nimalaraja’s death, known by his family and friends as Nimal, following an incident where he was assaulted and subsequently died.
On the night of the assault, Saturday, June 9, Nimal had been helping a friend at Leicester Stores in Gipsy Lane. At 11pm, when Nimal and his friend were closing the shop, Nimal was punched in the face by the 15-year-old convicted of manslaughter. Nimal then fell to the ground, hitting his head on the kerb.
Nimal was taken to the Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham shortly after, where he died a week later on Saturday June 16.
In the days that followed the incident the two youths were arrested and were charged in July.
Nimal’s wife, Mrs Nimalaraja, spoke following sentencing. She said: “We have been left devastated by the events that happened that night and would like to thank the Sri Lankan community and the police for their support. That support has helped us to piece together our lives and we are now beginning to look forward to the future.”
Detective Superintendant Matt Hewson, who led the investigation, said: “This was a totally avoidable criminal act that has left a family without a loving husband and father. These circumstances are a reminder to everyone that events can escalate and have tragic consequences. I hope that Nimal’s family can now begin to rebuild their life.”