Man jailed for manslaughter and conspiracy to steal - Watford

20/04/2015

A man, who went on the run for eighteen months following his involvement in a robbery at a cash and carry car park in Watford, appeared at St Albans Crown Court today, Monday, 20 April 2015, and was jailed for 11 years.

Michael McInerney, aged 34, of Borehamwood, who at the time of the offence was living in Radwell, Bedfordshire, appeared for sentence via a video link from Woodhill Prison in Milton Keynes.

Arulchelvan 'Nick' Prasanna, who was 34, died on 06 June 2013, at St Mary's Hospital in London, from a fractured skull and other injuries which he sustained when he fell from a moving van following an incident on Sunday, 26 May 2013, in the car park of Costco in Watford.

It is believed that Mr Prasanna was attempting to prevent men, who had been acting suspiciously in a van, from getting away and courageously tried to stop them.

McInerney went on the run after he was arrested and bailed pending further enquiries in December 2013.

A European Arrest Warrant was issued.  However, he was located and arrested in Corby, Northants in December last year following months of police investigations and appeals - including an item on BBC's Crimewatch programme.

At an earlier hearing, McInerney pleaded not guilty to murder and not guilty to conspiracy to rob, but guilty to alternative charges of manslaughter and conspiracy to steal and these pleas were accepted by the prosecution.

At the time Mr Prasanna was attacked, McInerney was serving a 7-month sentence suspended for 15 months for a similar theft from a motor vehicle at a cash and carry in Sheerness, in which a man who tried to stop him fell into the road.

Today, he was sentenced to 10 and a half years imprisonment for the manslaughter, 2 years imprisonment for the conspiracy to steal, to be served concurrently, and six months imprisonment from the suspended sentence, to be served consecutively, making a total of 11 years.

Last October, cousins Patrick O'Driscoll and James O'Driscoll were sentenced at Southwark Crown Court to ten-and-a-half years imprisonment and seven-and-a-half years imprisonment respectively after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of Mr Prasanna. Patrick O'Driscoll's sentence was later increased to 12 years imprisonment on appeal.

In addition to this, both men also received two sentences of three and a half years imprisonment, to run concurrently, after pleading guilty on 14 October 2014, day two of their trial at Southwark Crown Court, to two charges of conspiracy to steal from motor vehicles on 25 and 26 May 2013.

Judge Michael Kay QC told McInerney: "Mr Prasanna was a hard working man and a family man with a wife and a 2-and-a-half-year old son. He is described as a devoted and very loving father and husband.

"I can't help but compare Mr Prasanna, who was a hard-working and lawful citizen, with you. What example are you setting to your three children?

"You applied violence to get Mr Prasanna off the vehicle. You pushed him out of the vehicle which began the chain of events that led to his death."