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Tuesday, 3 July, 2001, 14:32 GMT 15:32 UK
Man denies murder of Hindu priest
Harish Purohit (right) helping at a community event
Harish Purohit (right) was a well known figure
The trial of a man accused of murdering a well-known Hindu priest has begun at Nottingham Crown Court.

Harish Purohit, a high-profile member of Leicester's Hindu community, bled to death after being stabbed 16 times in October last year.

Dean Riddell, 26, admits killing Harish Purohit by stabbing him in the neck, chest, back and abdomen, but denies murder.

Mr Riddell, of no fixed address, says he stabbed Mr Purohit in self-defence after the priest abducted him and tried to sexually assault him.

Prosecution case

Joan Butler QC, prosecuting, told the court Mr Riddell had met Mr Purohit before and was aware he was an "extremely promiscuous" homosexual who would pay for sex.

"The defendant now admits he was carrying a knife.

"We say Riddell was picked up in Leicester by the deceased and there was going to be some sort of sexual activity for which Mr Purohit was going to pay."

The prosecution argued that after the killing, which took place at a house owned by Mr Purohit in Harrison Road, Leicester, Mr Riddell tried to cover his tracks by setting fire to the property.

Prominent man

But the fire failed to take hold, and the following morning neighbours alerted Mr Purohit's father and youngest brother about smoke coming from the house.

They found the priest, a member of Leicester's Hindu community, who was based at the Shree Shakti Mandir Temple in the city's Belgrave area, stabbed to death near the front door.

Dean Riddell was arrested two weeks later.

The trial continues.

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