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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 February, 2005, 15:42 GMT
Racist killer jailed for attack
Kalan Kawa Karim
Kalan Karim died after a single blow to the head
A 27-year-old man has been jailed for five years for a racist attack that killed a disabled refugee in Swansea.

Sentencing Lee Mordecai, the judge said Swansea did not have the same racial problems as other cities and the courts would not allow racism to flourish.

Mordecai had previously admitted the manslaughter of Iraqi Kurd Kalan Karim, 29, with a single blow to the head in a city centre attack last September.

Mr Karim was tortured in Iraq and had had part of his left leg amputated.

Mr Karim was given leave to stay in the UK for four years, and arrived in Swansea in 2003 having spent some time in the north East of England.

His death sparked a large anti-racism protest in Swansea.

The courts will do whatever they can to ensure racially motivated crime will not be tolerated in Swansea
Mr Justice Roderick Evans

Last month Swansea Crown Court heard Mordecai was drunk when he carried out the "cowardly, underhand, and racially motivated" attack near the Kingsway in the early hours of 5 September. Mr Karim later died in hospital.

Paul Thomas QC, prosecuting, said at around 0139 GMT, Mordecai and a group of friends approached Mr Karim and a friend at in the Kingsway area of the city, where they were talking to a group of women.

Mordecai then became abusive, and said Mr Karim and his friend should "go back to their country".

"One of the three girls remonstrated with him about these remarks. Kalam Karim took no part in these verbal exchanges. He did not get involved in any way, verbally or physically.

Lee Mordecai
The judge said Mordecai's sentence should be a warning to others

"Lee Mordecai approached Kalam Karim and hit him with a blow from the side and rear. This blow landed to the area of what witnesses describe as his neck or throat area.

Mordecai initially denied murder but changed his plea when the lesser charge of manslaughter was put to him.

The prosecution said this was only done after discussions with Mr Karim's family and police.

Sentencing Mordecai on Thursday Mr Justice Roderick Evans said: "I accept fully that from the evidence you have placed before me that you are not an entrenched racist.

"However, I have no doubt either that this incident was motivated by race. You picked on Mr Karim because he was of a different racial background from yours.

"Swansea has a small ethnic minority community.

"It would not be right to say that there is no racially motivated crime in Swansea, but Swansea does not have the major problem that some cities in England and Wales have, and Swansea should not allow itself to get into a position where that kind of problem exists and flourishes.

"The courts will do whatever they can to ensure racially motivated crime will not be tolerated in Swansea and people who commit such crimes will be severely dealt with."


SEE ALSO:
Asylum seekers diverted from city
20 Oct 04 |  South West Wales
City marches against racism
09 Oct 04 |  Wales


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