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BBC Wales Hefina Rendle
"The judge said he was not satisfied it was a racially-motivated attack"
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Commissioner for Racial Equality Ray Singh
"Racism is evil"
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Thursday, 15 February, 2001, 17:24 GMT
Family say gang murder was racist
Royal Gwent Hospital
Jan Pasalbessy was attacked at the Royal Gwent Hospital
A gang has been jailed for life for murdering an Indonesian-born man in what his family describe as a racist attack.

Newport Crown Court heard that Jan Pasalbessy, 48, was kicked to death in the grounds of a hospital in a "brutal and cowardly" attack.

Jan Pasalbessy
Jan Pasalbessy was 'kicked and punched'

Emma Oates, 19, of Newport, Ashley Haynes, 18, of no fixed address, Roger Talbot, 21, of Cwmbran, Gwent, Ashley Haynes, 18, of no fixed address and Carl Rosser, 16, all denied murder but were found guilty.

The jury had been told that Mr Pasalbessy had taken his 14-year-old daughter Christina - who witnessed his murder - to be treated at the hospital following an assault earlier that day in June last year.

She had been beaten up by a girl egged on by Oates, a mother-of-two.

Witnesses told the court that there was obvious hostility when they met again in casualty.

'Leave him alone'

Ms Pasalbessy - who lived with her father in the Pill area of Newport - said she was so concerned she would be attacked again that she telephoned the police before leaving the hospital.

She said that as they left the hospital, all four of the gang followed them.

She then went onto describe seeing her father punched and kicked to the floor as she pleaded with his attackers to leave him alone.

If he had been a white person he would still be alive today

Stepson Paul Heard

As he lay on the ground, she said all four landed "hard kicks".

"They pushed him again and dad tripped over the foot of one of them. When he landed on the road there was a loud crack," she told the court.

Mr Pasalbessy, a former merchant seaman, died the following day.

Judge Lord Justice Richards jailed Oates, Haynes and Talbot for life.

Taking the unusual step of identifying a minor, the judge ordered Rosser to be detained at Her Majesty's pleasure.

After the trial Mr Pasalbessy's friends said that justice had been done.

Mohammed Zani Nasir, 46, said: "It was a brutal act. They are young people and they just didn't think.

"It has had a devastating affect on Christina but hopefully she can go on with her life now."

Christina Pasalbessy is now being looked after by other members of her family.

Royal Gwent Hospital
The murder happened at the Royal Gwent Hospital

The teenager was in tears when she was told her father's killers had been jailed for life.

"When my dad was being attacked I was so angry and sad," she said.

"I was thinking why us, why my dad, why not me? I pleaded with them to stop."

"I don't understand how people can be attacked because of the colour of their skin because inside we are all the same."

Her stepbrother Paul Heard, 30, said: "If he had been a white person he would still be alive today."

Maggie Simpson, of the National Assembly Against Racism said Mr Pasalbessy was killed because he was black.

"Racist crimes have doubled in Wales over the last year.

"Unfortunately Mr Pasalbessy is a statistic in that trend," said Ms Simpson.

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