Glasgow (Scotland, UK), Nov.11 (ANI): A man was jailed for life with a minimum term of 18 years yesterday after being convicted of murdering an Indian merchant navy officer because of the colour of his skin.
Christopher Miller, 25, slashed Kunal Mohanty in the neck in an unprovoked attack as he was walking to a restaurant in Glasgow with friends, reports The Times.
Miller, who is unemployed, claimed that Mohanty's death was the result of a robbery that went wrong.
A jury at the High Court in Glasgow returned a unanimous verdict of racially aggravated murder.
Judge John Beckett, QC, described the crime as "as incomprehensible as it is evil".
Mohanty, 30, whose wife was expecting their first child, was in Glasgow for his captain's exams at the city's Nautical College, where he had begun his studies 10 years earlier.
He was murdered in the Gorbals area of the city as he headed to a fast food restaurant on the evening of March 27.
A group, including Miller, approached him and asked him for a cigarette. His friends, who were a few steps in front of him, told the trial that they had initially thought he was being sick, before realizing that his neck was pouring with blood.
A casualty consultant who tried to save Mohanty's life said that the 18 cm knife wound inflicted by Miller was one of the worst injuries he had seen in 29 years of practice. The wound severed Mohanty's carotid artery and jugular vein.
Dorothy Bain, QC, for the prosecution, described the attack as a "death blow" carried out on a "blameless, defenceless and wholly decent man because Christopher Miller didn't like the colour of his skin".
Miller, who has eight previous convictions for assault, robbery and carrying an offensive weapon, claimed that Mohanty died when an attempted mugging went wrong and denied targeting him because of his race.
He told police in a taped interview: "It was just a bit of robbery. I'm expecting him [Mr Mohanty] to see the blade but I don't know if he did."
Footage from closed-circuit television cameras positioned outside the procurator fiscal's office in the south of Glasgow, however, told a different story.
As Mohanty lay dying in the street, Miller and his friend John McGrory, 20, were running through a car park celebrating. The men are seen cuddling, punching their arms in the air and at one point Miller pulls his jumper over his head in the manner of a footballer who has just scored a goal.
An hour later Miller was again recorded on CCTV throwing sauce at staff in an Asian takeaway restaurant, Sizzlers, and shouting racial abuse at them.
Miller's brother, Jamie Miller, 17, from Govanhill, Glasgow, gave evidence during the trial and said that Miller told him he had "done a Paki".
Donald Findlay, QC, for the defence, said Mohanty's death "weighs heavily on [Miller's] mind", but Judge Beckett said that he could see no sign of remorse. "I can identify no or little mitigation," he said.
"Your behaviour after the murder suggests that you were anything but sorry at the time. You went on to commit further crimes and appeared to celebrate them. There can be no justification for slashing the neck of a man who had done you no harm whatsoever," the judge said.
Police and prosecutors welcomed Miller's conviction and warned that they would not tolerate the racial violence he had displayed. (ANI)