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Last Updated: Friday, 14 January, 2005, 12:59 GMT
Man admits racist refugee killing
Kalan Kawak Karim
Kalan Kawa Karim died after being attacked in Swansea
A 26-year-old man has admitted killing an Iraqi Kurdish man in an unprovoked and "cowardly" racial attack which led to anti-racism protests.

Lee Mordecai, of Bonymaen, Swansea, had previously denied murdering Kalan Kawa Karim, 29, and was due to face a trial later this month.

He appeared at Swansea Crown Court on Friday to admit manslaughter. Sentence was adjourned until next month.

Mordecai killed Mr Karim with a single blow in Swansea city centre last year.

Paul Thomas QC, prosecuting, told the court the lesser charge of manslaughter had been put forward after discussions with Mr Karim's family.

Mordecai attacked Mr Karim late on 5 September last year, on the Kingsway in Swansea.

Mr Karim later died in hospital.

Lee Mordecai
Lee Mordecai admitted manslaughter at Swansea Crown Court

Mr Thomas said the attack was "cowardly, underhand and racially motivated" and Mordecai had been "intoxicated" at the time.

He said the prosecution, police and family had been ready to accept an admission of manslaughter for a number of reasons.

"Firstly, there was only one blow, from a fist or open hand, and there was no attempting a repeated or second blow," Mr Thomas said.

"There was no weapon involved and the death resulted from increased pressure on the carotid artery in the neck.

"It would be a proper course here to accept a plea of manslaughter.

"We have spoken with Mr Karim's family and they have concurred with it."

Chris Vosper, defending, said Mordecai had been listed to stand trial for murder on 31 January, a charge he had repeatedly denied.

Anti-racism protest

"For the sake of explanation, the basis of the plea is lack of intent," Mr Vosper said.

Judge John Diehl QC adjourned the case for sentencing in the first fortnight of February.

Mordecai was remanded in custody.

Mr Karim's death sparked a large anti-racism protest in Swansea in October and led the authorities to divert new refugees from the city in an attempt to reassure communities.

Police said that since Mr Karim's killing, there had been concern in minority communities and a cautious approach on race issues in the city was needed.

Mr Karim's body was later flown back to Iraq and buried in his native town of Dahuk, in the north of the country, last October.


SEE ALSO:
Asylum seekers diverted from city
20 Oct 04 |  South West Wales
City marches against racism
09 Oct 04 |  Wales
Refugee's body flown to Iraq
06 Oct 04 |  South West Wales


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