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Last Updated: Monday, 9 June, 2003, 11:47 GMT 12:47 UK
Man jailed for Tamil murders
Senthamil Thillainathan
Thillainathan denied both murders
A 21-year-old man who took part in the brutal murders of two young Sri Lankan men has been given two life sentences in prison.

Senthamil Thillainathan killed one young man with an axe and helped beat a teenager to death before setting his victim's body alight.

Both murders took place in Wembley and the victims and suspects were all of Tamil Sri Lankan origin.

Sentencing Thillainathan on Monday, Judge David Paget said he used "violence which passed belief" against his victims.

Arvinthan Muthukumarasamy, 25, died when he was hit over the head with an axe as he sat in a car outside a video shop with four friends on 17 June 2001.

Thillainathan was part of a gang which attacked the friends with swords, axes and metal poles.

The other four people in the car were seriously injured and one had his hand cut off.

Sivageethan Punniyamoorthy, Thillainathan's accomplice, was convicted at the Old Bailey of murder last October.

Supenthar Ramachandran
Mr Ramachandran's murder was bullying 'taken to the extreme'
But the jury was undecided about Thillainathan and a retrial was ordered - making it one of the Old Bailey's longest-running cases.

He was tried again for the killing while standing trial for murdering 18-year-old Supenthar Ramachandran on 18 February 2002.

Mr Ramachandran was held against his will and made to buy his assailants a meal before being beaten to death, covered in petrol and set alight.

His body was found the following day in Roe Green Park in north-west London - it is thought he had owed his murderers 200.

Prosecutor Aftab Jafferjee told the jury not to look for any sense in why he was killed but accept the murder was "sheer cruelty".

'Senseless acts of violence'

Thillainathan, of Chatsworth Avenue, Wembley, had denied both murders but was convicted last Friday.

He was also given four 10-year terms to run concurrently for wounding the surviving men in the car.

Kannan Sivakumar, 30, Pradeep Sivanesan, 18, and a 17-year-old man were also convicted of Mr Ramachandran's murder.

The court heard that Sivakumar had joined the Tamil Tigers during the civil war in Sri Lanka. He later escaped to Britain and sought asylum.

After the convictions Detective Chief Inspector Martin Lee said: "This proves to these people that they cannot simply carry out these vicious and unprovoked attacks and expect to get away with it.

"Our thoughts today are with the families of the two murder victims and of course with the surviving victims who nearly paid with their lives for these senseless acts of violence against them."




SEE ALSO:
Tamils preying on Tamils
25 May 02  |  UK News


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