Samurai gang who tried to behead victim get 63 years jail total

PUBLISHED: 22:14 18 July 2008 | UPDATED: 13:27 05 October 2010



SEVEN gang members lead by a thug known as Psycho’ who attacked rivals with Samurai swords and other weapons have been sentenced today to a total of 63 years behind bars. They tried to hack off the head of one of their victims and almost severed his arm. But now they’re locked up, the wave of criminal damage in one part of East London has fallen by 80 per cent and reports of anti-social behaviour down by 50 per cent since their arrests

TOP: Samurai sword and (above) other weapons such as coal hammer, lead pipes and a metal saw used in the attack.

BELOW: Left to right, gang leader 'Psycho' Thavapalasingham, 'Kiruba' Gunaratnam, Paratheeban and Silvaneswaran all get Life, while Jeganathan gets nine years, Mayuran 10 years and Panthaplavil-Sasidharan three years.

SEVEN gang members lead by a thug known as 'Psycho' who were part of a mob attacking rivals with Samurai swords and other weapons have been sentenced today to a total of 63 years behind bars.

They tried to hack off the head of one of their victims an d almost severed his arm.

But now they're locked up, the wave of criminal damage has fallen by 80 per cent in one part of East London and reports of anti-social behaviour are down by 50 per cent since their arrests, police revealed.

The arrests and convictions are what police believe are the main reasons for the dramatic decline in crime and disorder in East Ham.

"The gang thought they were above the law," said the senior investigating officer involved in the case, Det Ins Andy Chalmers.

"But their convictions and lengthy sentences for a pre-planned and brutal attack prove they were not.

"They've been removed from East London's Tamil community and cannot continue to taint and intimidate the law-abiding majority, which can only be good for the community as a whole."

The Tamil business community in East Ham has since presented a petition with 109 signatures to police to thank them for removing the gang from their community.

The complex investigation drew on 103 prosecution witnesses, 2,800 pages of evidence, 300 exhibits, 52 identification parades and 60 forensic submissions in a trial lasting 16 weeks.

The seven were found guilty at the Old Bailey on June 19 various charges including attempted murder and were handed down individual sentences today (Friday) ranging from three to 12 years each.

It follows the mob attack on a 20-year-old man from a rival gang at Alperton, on the other side of London, in August two years ago.

Attempts were made to behead him with Samurai swards during the vicious onslaught, said Scotland Yard.

Supt Derrick Griffiths, formerly in charge of Newham's community policing, told the trial: "East Ham is no longer a 'crime and disorder' hotspot, which would not have been achieved unless the activities of these individuals had not been ended."

All seven were all convicted of violent disorder.

Four were also found guilty of attempted murder and received Life.

Two of the four given Life were slapped with recommendations to serve a minimum 12 years apiece, 21-year-old Senthurrajh Thavapalasingham, also known as 'Psycho', and 32-year-old Kirubananathrada Gunaratnam, known as 'Kiruba'.

The third, 24-year-old Aramugan Paratheeban, must serve a minimum nine-and-a-half years, while the fourth, 20-year-old Sabesan Silvaneswaran, must serve at least eight years.

Edward Jeganathan, 26, and Selvarajah Mayuran, 28, were both acquitted of attempted murder, but found guilty of GBH and violent disorder. Jeganathan got nine years, Mayaran got 10.

The seventh gang member, Santosh Panthaplavil-Sasidharan, 26, was acquitted of attempted murder and GBH, but convicted of violent disorder. He got three years.

The attack involved around 25 gang members who had travelled across London from East Ham to Wembley with Samurai swords, pickaxe handles and other weapons to attack a rival gang.

They ambushed a group of six at Braemar-avenue, in Alperton, who were in a car heading to One Tree Hill park to play cricket.

One of the men they attacked, a Mr Sebamallai, was struck with a bottle and fell to the ground, when 'Psycho' and 'Kiruba' used the swords in an attempt to behead him, said police.

He tried defending himself with a cricket bat he was holding, but got a deep gash at the elbow which partially severed his arm.

A police car travelling back from the Notting Hill Carnival came across the attack and the mob dispersed.

But officers detained 'Psycho' at the scene, while Sivaneswaran was picked up in a street close by.

'Kiruba' (Gunaratam) crossed One Tree Hill and was stopped by a resident hiding at the side of his property nearby who managed to flag down a police car.

Officers stopped Paratheeban and Jeganathan further down the road, both without jackets.

A householder told police he saw the two dumping clothing in a wheelie bin. Both were arrested and two jackets recovered.

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