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March 15, 2017
Three UK youths appear in court over brutal attack on Sri Lankan
(Colombo Gazette)

Thirkkumaran Siththampalam, 38, was repeatedly kicked in the head and was left with serious injuries following the shocking racist attack, the UK Mirror reported.

He suffered a broken jaw and fractured eye sockets when he was set upon as he opened his shop for the day.

The gang - a 15-year-old and two 16-year-olds – confronted him with a knife and as they called him a "f***ing P***" and told him "Go home, this is my country", the Liverpool Echo reports.

The attack occurred outside Broadway Booze in Norris Green, Liverpool, shortly before 8am on December 28 last year.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that the youths previously caused trouble in the store and one of them was allegedly barred from the shop the night before.

Nicholas Walker, prosecuting, said the victim is Sri Lankan and told them he was not from Pakistan, but this "was lost on the males, who continued with their racist abuse".

He said: "Each of the defendants kicks or stamps on him when he is on the floor. At least one of them seems to be recording it on their phone."

Witness Matthew McClaren recalled how "it seemed that P*** was every other word" used by the gang and they said "stay down you dirty P***".

Siththampalam later underwent surgery for multiple fractures to his jaw and eyes, with metal plates inserted in his face.

Walker said: "He described himself as a man who always supported himself and his family but the attack made him feel like committing suicide."

Judge Elizabeth Nicholls said "distressing" CCTV footage showed Mr Siththampalam try to knock the knife away "with great courage".

She said: "This was a brutal, shocking and cowardly attack."

"In an endeavour to show he was not cowed or intimidated by your conduct, he just continued with his work of opening the shop."

"As he bent down to unlock the padlock - so when he was completely vulnerable and no threat to any of you - one of you kicked him full in the face."

"You can see the force of that kick as he fell backwards. The other two of you quickly followed up by kicking him in the head area."

"All the while, as if this was some form of entertainment to share, with your phone one of you filmed the incident, which is disgraceful and almost the most chilling aspect of this case."

Walker said police did not discover footage of the attack but found Snapchat conversations, in which the gang planned how to blame their victim.

One of the 16-year-olds said he would take the blame before he and the other 16-year-old agreed to say there was no knife, no racism and "no drugs stored in the shop".

Walker said it was not part of the Crown's case that drugs were involved. He added that one 16-year-old told the 15-year-old to "wipe your phone".

The three youths, from Norris Green and Clubmoor, admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent.

Katy Appleton, defending the one of the 16-year-olds, said his teachers expressed "complete shock" as it was "totally out of character".

She said he was remorseful, adding: "He got caught up in the moment trying to act as he said 'as the big lad'."


James Parry, defending the 15-year-old, said it was a "dreadful attack" which he should have stopped.
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