Search

Killer shouted Paki' and slashed teenager's throat

PUBLISHED: 12:55 09 July 2009 | UPDATED: 11:14 12 August 2010

A LABOURER who stabbed an Asian student to death after hurling racist insults at the teenager from a minicab has been jailed for life.  Steven Braithwaite, 31, plunged a knife into 17-year-old Nilanthan Murddi s neck after screaming Pakis from the back

A LABOURER who stabbed an Asian student to death after hurling racist insults at the teenager from a minicab has been jailed for life.

Steven Braithwaite, 31, plunged a knife into 17-year-old Nilanthan Murddi's neck after screaming 'Pakis' from the back of a taxi.

Mr Murddi, 17, a student at Langley Park Girls School sixth form, was toasting a friend's birthday in the street when he started picking arguments with strangers in passing cars in Croydon.

One passer-by he shouted at was Braithwaite, who returned to settle the row by killing him.

Last week a jury at Snaresbrook Crown Court convicted the dad of four of murder following a two-week trial. Judge David Radford jailed Braithwaite for life last Wednesday and ordered he serve at least 19 years before he can be considered for parole. The judge said: 'The sentence for such a grave offence can only be one of life imprisonment. No sentence this court can pass can in anyway compensate for this loss of life."

Jurors had heard how Mr Murrdi was seen to stagger across Sumner Road before collapsing and dying at the scene. Mr Murrdi, from New Addington, and his friends had been swigging from bottles of spirits, the court heard. The teenager's behaviour was described by eye-witnesses as 'argumentative.' "He had rows with passers-by, picking for no reason on people to have a row with them," said Christopher Kinch, QC, prosecuting. "He had to be told to calm down and behave."

At one point he challenged Braithwaite as his cab waited at traffic lights.

Braithwaite screamed: 'Come on then' and one of Mr Murddi's group yelled 'throw him out' to the cabbie, Mr Kinch told jurors.

Braithwaite shouted 'Pakis' from the back seat of his cab in response, incensing Mr Murddi who was said to have gone 'ballistic'. Mr Murddi yelled: "P**s off" and was seen to try to pull Braithwaite from the car. Braithwaite's cab sped off when the traffic lights turned green and Mr Murddi and his pals continued to celebrate into the early hours of August 16 last year.

Minutes later Braithwaite returned, clutching a can of lager. He pulled out a knife and slashed at Mr Murddi's throat.

Braithwaite fled the murder scene northwards along nearby London Road before hiding his blade in a rubbish sack. Braithwaite claimed he was set upon by Mr Murrdi's group and 'disarmed' a dagger-wielding youth in 'self-defence'. He denied stabbing Mr Murrdi but admitted stashing the blade in a bin bag before seeking refuge at his sister-in-law's Longley Road flat where his four children slept.

But Braithwaite, of no fixed address, was convicted of murder.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Bromley Times

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists