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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2584

Seven Tamil gang members convicted in London for attacking another Tamil man with Samurai type sword and seriously injuring him

By Walter Jayawardhana

London, 22 June, ( Seven members of a Sri Lankan Tamil gang led by a heinous criminal named Psycho who by using a Samurai type sword left another Tamil man’s profusely bleeding hand hanging from his wrist were convicted by a criminal court of the Old Bailey.

Judge Richard Hawkins QC said sentencing will be done July 18 after deliberations to decide whether the Tamil gang members are so dangerous to be locked up indefinitely.

In this case 21-year-old Senthurrajah "Psycho" Thavapalasingham , a Sri Lankan Tamil with his other gang members of the East Ham Gang were accused of cutting another Tamil named Arulmurugan Sebamalai, 23, and leaving his hand hanging from his wrist, among other crimes like unlawful assembly.

The victims and his other friends, who were members of another Tamil gang named DMX , the court was told , ambushed by Psycho’s East ham Gang while the former were on their way to play cricket, about two years ago in an East London Tamil suburb.

Sabesan Sivaneswaran, 19, a factory worker; jobless Santosh Panthaplavil Sasidharan, 24; Selvarajah Mayuran, 28, a salesman; Arumugan Paratheeban, 24, a student, and Edward Jaganathan, 26, a salesman, were also convicted of crimes of violence in this trial which, started three months ago.

"Psycho was armed with a samurai sword. The sword was around three feet long, silver coloured. It wasn't in a sheath. He was holding it in a raised position and running towards us. I got out the car and I had a bat in my hand. When he started cutting me repeatedly I tried to block it," the victim, Arulmurugan Sebamalai told the police.

He and his friends, members of a Tamil gang known as DMX, were ambushed by up to 25 men led by 21-year-old Senthurrajah "Psycho" Thavapalasingham as they travelled to play cricket, the victim further told the police.

According to the evidence led at the trial, armed with swords and pick-axe handles they singled out Sebamalai and rained down a series of blows as gang members shouted: "Slash him, Psycho, kill him."

Sebamalai lifted his arm to shield his face but the razor-sharp sword blade sliced through his arm and exposed the bone, he said.

The attack took place on August 28, 2006, after the 25-strong "East Ham Gang", in five cars, tracked Mr Sebamalai to Braemar Avenue in an East London Borough.

When they spotted him in a car with his friends they surrounded it and started throwing bottles at the white Suzuki Swift, witnesses said.

Alarmed by the attack Ashokumar Tharmarajah, who was driving the car, stopped and the group got out, arming themselves with cricket bats and stumps, the evidence led at the trial further revealed.

Thavapalasingham and fellow gang member Kirubananantharasa Gunaratnam, 32, got out of their green BMW and picked out two swords from the boot.

The victim's friends, Tharmarajah and Lynkaran Tharmalingam, told the courts that they saw him being slashed before the fight was eventually broken up by police.

Thavapalasingham later told a friend that he would have killed Mr Sebamalai if officers had not arrived, the court heard.

Seven gang members were convicted of a string of offences at the Old Bailey June 19 including Thavapalasingham, 21, and Gunaratnam.

Sebamalai had identified them both as his attackers at an identification parade and a jury convicted them of attempted murder and violent disorder.

In an interesting revealation Thavapalasingham confessed that he was going to offer the victim's family £40,000 if they did not pick him out in an identity parade.

He was arrested at the scene while Gunaratam was arrested hiding in a nearby street.

Other members of the "East Ham Gang" were arrested after a police search of the area.

- Asian Tribune -

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