Teenager found guilty of killing Leicester shop worker Ponnuthurai Nimalaraja
A teenager has been found guilty of killing Leicester shop worker Ponnuthurai Nimalaraja.
The 15-year-old, from Leicester, was found guilty today of manslaughter after a five-day trial at Derby Crown Court.
On the night of the assault, Saturday June 9, the 41-year-old, knon by his family as Nimal, had been helping a friend at a shop, Leicester Stores in Gipsy Lane. Between 10.30pm and 11pm a group of teenagers entered the shop, and two were asked to leave after shouting and fighting.
At 11pm, when Nimal and his friend were closing the shop, one youth shouted to Nimal from across the street, asking to fight him. Nimal approached the group, holding a wood board, and was then punched in the face by the 15-year-old. Nimal then fell to the ground, hitting his head on the kerb. He died in hospital a week later.
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Detective Superintendant Matt Hewson, who led the investigation, said: “Today’s positive outcome is justice for Nimal and justice for his family left behind. I hope that Nimal’s family can now begin to rebuild their life, moving on from the tragedy which hit them earlier this year.
“This is an extremely sad case, where something that started from the mis-behaviour of a group of teenagers ended up with the loss of a much loved husband and father. This goes to show what damage just one punch can do. Not only has this assault devastated a whole family, but it has also changed the lives forever of the defendants involved. I hope that members of the public will take something away from this and think about the consequences of their actions, hopefully if they do it will go some way to preventing something like this happening again in the future.”
The 15-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had denied manslaughter.
A 14-year-old boy pleaded guilty to affray at an earlier hearing at Derby Crown Court, on Monday, November 26.
Both will be sentenced on Friday January 11, 2013.