Hasan Suroor

LONDON: Three teenagers have been sentenced to six-and-a-half years each in custody for killing an Indian sailor in a racist attack. They will serve their sentences at a young offenders’ institution.

Two other boys were sentenced for 12 months and 18 months.

The incident took place in Fawley, Southampton, in October 2007 when Gregory Fernandes (32), of Goa, was attacked by a group of youths. While Fernandes died, his shipmate Vinod Pitchilnaviram suffered a broken shoulder. The three boys, who are now aged between 16 and 18, admitted manslaughter and inflicting grievous bodily harm on Pitchilnaviram.

According to the prosecution, the sailors were walking toward a cargo ship when they were attacked. A passerby took Fernandes to the docks where he collapsed and died.

“Even I’ve been in England but it wasn’t like this before. I felt very safe, but now it seems to be a very unsafe place, especially for Indians. How can somebody kill in such a manner?” Floriano Fernandes, father of the murdered sailor, told the BBC.

Mr. Pitchilnaviram, who is from Kerala, said the incident left him “disturbed”.