Tamil gang member sentenced for axe murder

14/06/2017

A Tamil gang member has been convicted of murder after a vicious axe attack in the Sibthorpe Road car park in Mitcham. Justin Neel Croos, 26, was fatally wounded when he and his group were attacked by another group of 14 men just after 7pm on the evening of 23 November 2015. He died from serious head injuries shortly afterwards.

Prashad Sothalingham, 26, struck Mr Croos several times on the head with an axe using severe force. He then struck another man on the head with the axe fracturing his skull. He was convicted on June 13 at the Central Criminal Court of the murder of Mr Croos and was also found guilty of s18 wounding of the other man. He had already been found guilty of violent disorder in a previous trial.

Sugan Selvarajan, 33, had a bladed weapon which he used to slice at the hand of another victim and was found guilty of s18 wounding and violent disorder.

Two other men - Visuparathan Dayaparan, 24, and Sivakaran Ockersz, 19 - were found guilty of violent disorder.

London CPS reviewing lawyer Elaine Cousins said: "These convictions bring to an end a complex and lengthy prosecution. The judge's comments referred to the background of organised ATM fraud and the gang culture which led in this case to the violent death of Justin Neel Croos, and a fractured skull and serious hand injury to two other victims.

"The sentence of Sothalingham to life with a minimum term of 29 years for murder and 14 years concurrent for wounding reflects the ongoing and vicious gang violence which took place that night. The judge said that the 'carrying of swords, machetes, axes and knives by feuding criminal gangs would not be tolerated'."

Notes for media:

  • Prashad Sothalingham, 26, [31/08/1990] murder, wounding with intent and violent disorder - sentenced on 14 June to life with a minimum term of 29 years, 14 years concurrent for wounding with intent and 3 years concurrent for violent disorder
  • Sugan Selvarajan, 33, [01/08/1983] wounding with intent and violent disorder - sentenced to 14 years on wounding with intent and 33 months concurrent on violent disorder
  • Sivakaran Ockersz, 19, [26/06/1997] violent disorder - sentenced to 27 months on the violent disorder and 4 months consecutive on a previous ATM fraud, making a total of 31 months
  • Visuparathan Dayaparan, 24, [12/11/1992] violent disorder - sentenced to  27 months.

ALREADY SENTENCED: Avarenthum Puventhiran, found guilty of violent disorder in an earlier trial. Sentenced to 33 months.