Friday, April 03, 2009

British justice again: Only 4 years for a vicious thug who killed a disabled man in an unprovoked attack

No doubt his blackness was an extenuating circumstance. With remissions etc. he will probably serve about a year only. Britain really loves its criminals

A couple who killed an innocent man after a row about queue-jumping at a supermarket were jailed yesterday. Tony Virasami, 38, was sentenced to four years and Antonette Richardson, 37, who egged him on, was jailed for 18 months over the death of Kevin Tripp, 57, who was attacked after the pair confused him with somebody else.

Richardson was convicted of manslaughter in February. A jury was told that she called Virasami to the Sainsbury’s store after a confrontation with Adam Prendergast, another shopper, on June 10 last year. The court was told that Mr Prendergast accused her of pushing in whilst she was queuing at the cigarette kiosk in the store in Merton, southwest London. In the “fierce” row that followed, he threatened to knock her out.

In response, she rang Virasami, who was waiting for her in a car outside. When he arrived she pointed towards Mr Prendergast, but he thought that she was pointing at Mr Tripp. Virasami immediately marched over to him, accused him of fighting with his wife and, without giving him a chance to reply, hit him. The force of the blow threw Mr Tripp off his feet and he hit the floor so hard that his skull fractured, causing bleeding on the brain. He died in hospital. Virasami was arrested in the supermarket on June 10 and Richardson was detained the next day at the couple’s home in Catford, southeast London.

Sentencing Virasami at Southwark Crown Court, Judge Geoffrey Rivlin QC said that the jail term reflected the “revulsion and concern felt by Mr Tripp’s nearest and dearest”.

Despite the victim lying on the ground after the blow — which was captured on the store’s CCTV camaras — an apparently dissatisfied Richardson was overheard saying: “We need to find the right guy.”

The judge said that Mr Tripp, who suffered from ME, was an “entirely innocent man”. He said: “He was just minding his own business, waiting in a queue to be served at the customer services counter, when suddenly you, Mr Virasami, rushed towards him and took such a powerful swing at his head that he was immediately floored.”

The judge said that Virasami had numerous convictions, mostly for offences of dishonesty but also for assault and robbery, which had resulted in a substantial term of imprisonment. “It would have been bad enough if the right man had been struck, but that an entirely innocent man has lost his life, and his family have lost him forever, is a grave matter indeed,” he said. “You set out to commit an offence of violence in a public place, a store where it might be expected that shoppers would be going about their proper business.”

Virasami had pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Mr Tripp’s partner, Josie James, said after the hearing: “It’s not long enough. They took Kevin’s life. The judge was pretty fair, but his hands were tied.”

Original report here

(And don't forget your ration of Wicked Thoughts for today)

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