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The BBC's Giles Latcham
"Priest's murderer is given is life"
 real 28k

Monday, 9 July, 2001, 16:23 GMT 17:23 UK
Life for Hindu priest murderer
Harish Purohit (right) helping at a community event
Harish Purohit was a well-known figure
A drug addict has been jailed for life for the murder of one of the UK's most prominent Hindu priests.

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

After a week-long trial, a jury took just three hours to find Dean Riddell, 26, of no fixed address, guilty of murder.

Riddell, a heroin user and part-time rent boy, said he had stabbed Mr Purohit in self-defence after the priest abducted him and tried to sexually assault him.

Harish Purohit
Harish Purohit: "Secret life"
Nottingham Crown Court heard that Harish Purohit led a secret life in Leicester's gay community.

The jury was told how Mr Purohit's family knew of his homosexuality and he was also well-known on Leicester's gay scene.

Mr Purohit knew Riddell, a drug addict who needed large sums of money to feed his habit, and had picked him up on the night he was killed.

The priest's body was found a few hours later at a house he had been renovating in Harrison Road, Leicester.

'Sexual activity'

Jailing Riddell for life Mr Justice Hughes told him: "It is perfectly clear to me that you were picked up by the deceased man in his motorcar.

"It is quite impossible to believe you were not aware of what he was after.

"What happened is not clear - if there was sexual activity or not I don't know

"But there was some kind of altercation and the jury has decided it was not self-defence or provocation.

"It was a sustained attack from behind with a knife you carried habitually."

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