Page last updated at 17:50 GMT, Monday, 9 November 2009

'Racist murder' conviction urged

Kumal Mohanty
Mr Mohanty, who was due to become a father, was in Glasgow to sit exams

A jury has been urged to convict a man of an "unprovoked" race hate murder.

Christopher Miller, 25, admits killing Indian naval officer Kunal Mohanty, 30, in Glasgow in March, but denies murder, claiming it was a botched robbery.

Prosecutor Dorothy Bain QC said Mr Mohanty was slashed on the neck because Mr Miller did not like the colour of his skin.

Defence agent Donald Findlay QC said the attack there was no evidence it was racially motivated attack.

Mr Mohanty, who was due to become a father for the first time, was in Glasgow to sit his captain's exams at the city's Nautical College.

On 27 March he was slashed on the neck in an injury described by a casualty consultant as "one of the worst he had ever seen" and died from massive blood loss.

Christopher Miller's first words afterwards were: 'I've done a Paki'
Dorothy Bain QC

At the High Court in Glasgow, Mr Findlay began his closing speech by saying Mr Mohanty's death was an appalling incident.

He told jurors: "He was visitor to our country, our city. He was entitled to the protection of this country and this city.

"But you are not here for vengeance or to make someone pay. You are here to do what is right and what is fair.

"A person should only be convicted of the crime they have committed."

The defence QC said the only person who had told the court what had happened was Christopher Miller.

He added: "He was involved in the unlawful death of Mr Mohanty because of a mugging he tried to carry out.

"That is the crime of culpable homicide, not murder.

"Simply because Mr Miller is white and Mr Mohanty is black you cannot say we are dealing with a racially motivated attack. The Crown must prove it is racially aggravated."

Donald Findlay QC
Donald Findlay QC said Mr Mohanty died after a mugging went wrong

Summing up, Ms Bain told the court: "This was not a robbery.

"Christopher Miller is guilty of an atrocity committed on Kunal Mohanty. He is guilty of a death blow, an atrocity delivered without mercy."

She said: "CCTV footage shows Christopher Miller running away with his friend John McGrory.

"They look pleased with themselves, celebrating. It is shocking that as they run away celebrating, Mr Mohanty is fatally injured yards away.

"Christopher Miller's first words afterwards were: 'I've done a Paki'."

'Decent man'

The prosecutor described the case against Mr Miller as "powerful and compelling".

"I'm asking you to do justice to this case and take the view this was a racist murder," she added.

"The Crown says it can only be categorised as an unprovoked attack on a blameless, defenceless and wholly decent man because Christopher Miller didn't like the colour of his skin."

She described Miller's version of events as "contradictory and nonsensical".

Ms Bain asked the jury to also convict Miller of attempting to pervert the course of justice by burning clothing allegedly worn at the time of the incident and acting in a racially aggravated manner at Sizzler's Takeaway in Gorbals Street, Glasgow, on March 27, this year.

The trial before judge John Beckett QC continues.

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