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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 February 2007, 18:14 GMT
Men jailed for taxi driver murder
Left to right: Christopher Murphy, Steven Utley, Graeme Slavin and Michael Hand
The teenagers were described as savage beyond belief
Four teenagers have been jailed for the racially-aggravated murder of an Asian taxi driver in West Yorkshire.

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

Christopher Murphy and Michael Hand, both aged 19, were given minimum jail terms of 25 and 21 years by judge Dame Heather Steel at Leeds Crown Court.

Graeme Slavin, 18, and Steven Utley, 17, were sentenced to 17 years behind bars for their part in the attack.

Michael Beeby, 16, and Jason Harris, 17, were cleared of murder last month but convicted of violent disorder.

Dragged from car

Beeby, of Sigott Street, Longwood, received a 10-month detention and training order.

Harris, of Royles Head Lane, Longwood, Huddersfield, received an eight-month detention and training order.

Judge Steel said it was a joint attack in which they all took part, but Hand and Murphy were the ringleaders - whereas Utley and Slavin played a lesser part.

She said: "Mr Parvaiz sustained a serious head wound, from which he was bleeding profusely when he was attacked from the driver's side and dragged out to be kicked and beaten to death.

Mohammad Parvaiz
Mohammad Parvaiz died in hospital from his injuries

"Violence on this scale is savage beyond belief.

"It is not difficult to imagine the terror that Mr Parvaiz must have experienced as he lay dying on the road," she added.

She added that it was not just the lives of Mr Parvaiz's family that had been "completely devastated" but also their own and their families'.

Dame Steel said the court had heard "lies", "half truths" and "some of the truth" from Murphy, Utley and Slavin when they took the stand during the trial.

"Some parts of the evidence will never be explained," she said.

'Utterly mindless'

After the sentencing, Det Supt Tim Forber, of West Yorkshire Police, said: "I don't think I've ever come across anything so utterly mindless.

"This just wasn't an ordinary event. It wasn't typical of the ordinary type of issues that taxi drivers face. This was a premeditated plan, it was a savage attack.

"As far as Mr Parvaiz's family are concerned, the length of the sentences, it's not going to bring him back. The pain still goes on and it always will."

Mr Parvaiz's wife, Naheed Kausar, 33, attended almost every day of the trial.

Speaking outside court, her brother Mohammed Ramzan said: "We are very happy with the result. Justice has been served.

"People have been sentenced according to the evidence. We believe the truth has come out."




SEE ALSO
Four face jail for racist murder
26 Jan 07 |  West Yorkshire
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
Taxi drivers strike after killing
30 Jul 06 |  West Yorkshire
Dead cabbie's family 'want calm'
28 Jul 06 |  Bradford

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