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Last Updated: Friday, 26 January 2007, 17:08 GMT
Four face jail for racist murder
Mohammad Parvaiz
Mohammad Parvaiz died in hospital from his injuries
Four white teenagers are facing prison sentences for the racially aggravated murder of an Asian taxi driver.

Father-of-three Mohammad Parvaiz, 41, was beaten to death by the youths near Huddersfield in July last year.

Graeme Slavin and Christopher Murphy, both 18, and Steven Utley, aged 17, were found guilty at Leeds Crown Court.

Michael Hand, 19, admitted murder at an earlier hearing. Michael Beeby, 16, and Jason Harris, 17, were found not guilty of murder and manslaughter.

Set upon

Beeby was also found guilty of violent disorder, a charge which all the other defendants had previously pleaded guilty to.

Left to right: Christopher Murphy, Steven Utley, Graeme Slavin and Michael Hand
The teenagers will be sentenced at a later date

Murphy, of no fixed address; Beeby, of Sigott Street, Longwood; Utley, of Elmfield Avenue, Golcar; Harris, of Royals Head Lane, Longwood; and Slavin, of Howard Road, Lindley; sat in the dock, some with their heads bowed.

The court heard that at the time of the killing Mr Parvaiz thought he was responding to a normal request for a fare.

But instead he was lured down a cul-de-sac in Field Head, Huddersfield, and set upon by the gang of teenagers.

Judge Dame Heather Steel adjourned sentencing for reports but said Murphy and Hand would receive life sentences.

She said Utley and Slavin would be "detained at Her Majesty's pleasure".

His life ended because of a premeditated attack of mindless violence - this was pack mentality at its worst
Det Supt Tim Forber
West Yorkshire Police

She described the case as "emotive and distressing" and thanked the jurors for their dedication.

Det Supt Tim Forber, of West Yorkshire Police, said: "Mohammad Parvaiz was a hard working man, father-of-three and a loving husband.

"His life ended because of a premeditated attack of mindless violence - this was pack mentality at its absolute worst.

"I hope that Mr Parvaiz's family can now take some comfort from today's result and start to move forward with the rest of their lives."

A sentencing date has yet to be fixed.

Mr Parvaiz showed no signs of offensive or defensive injuries, indicating that he was not capable of defending himself as he was being struck, the court heard.

Left to right: Michael Beeby and Jason Harris
Michael Beeby and Jason Harris were found not guilty of murder

He suffered 23 separate injuries, including a three-inch fracture along the base of his skull, a fractured cheekbone and fractured ribs.

It was alleged that 80 in takings was stolen, along with Mr Parvaiz's watch.

After his death, about 3,000 taxi drivers staged a strike, demanding better security measures in their cabs.

Richard Hebbert, of the Crown Prosecution Service West Yorkshire, said: "This killing was aggravated by the use of racist abuse during the attack on Mr Parvaiz, against a background of trouble between white and Asian youths.

"But Mr Parvaiz wasn't killed simply because he was Asian."


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
CCTV footage of Mr Parvaiz on the night he was killed



SEE ALSO
Driver caught in gang's 'revenge'
26 Jan 07 |  West Yorkshire
Murdered on wedding anniversary
26 Jan 07 |  West Yorkshire
Taxis drivers 'racially abused'
26 Jan 07 |  West Yorkshire
Dead cabbie's family 'want calm'
28 Jul 06 |  Bradford
Taxi drivers strike after killing
30 Jul 06 |  West Yorkshire

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