British Teen Sentenced for Killing Indian-Origin Man Who Refused to Sell Cigarette Paper

The British teenager fatally attacked a 49-year old Indian shopkeeper who refused to sell him tobacco-related products as he was underage.


A British teenager has been jailed for four years for attacking an Indian-origin shopkeeper in north London on Jan. 6 this year. The man died of injuries on Jan. 8. The 16-year-old boy will also be monitored for another three years.

Vijaykumar Patel owned a shop outside a mini market in Mill Hill. On the night he was attacked, two teenagers came to his shop to buy cigarette papers. He refused to sell it to them as they were below the permissible age and failed to show suitable identification credentials.

The accused boy threatened to damage the shop and when Patel came out of the place, he launched an unprovoked attack, fatally injuring the 49-year-old man.

CCTV footage gathered during the attack showed that Patel was unprepared for the attack. He came out of his shop with his hands in his pocket. While sentencing the boy, Judge Stuart-Smith said, “The CCTV shows he was simply standing with his hands in his pockets doing nothing.” He told the teenager: “What happened next was that you deliberately moved to the left and launched yourself at Mr. Patel, taking him off his feet and to the ground. He was completely defenseless and did not move. You struck him.”

The boy, whose name cannot be revealed due to legal reasons, was reportedly drunk before he and his friend went out to buy cigarettes. While sentencing the teenager, the judge called him a “timebomb” who was out on bail at the time of the assault.

The judge further said, “The record, the facts of this case, the contents of the PSR (pre-sentence report) with the analysis of very high risk of causing significant harm. I do not find the PSR surprising at all.”

The court was also told that as Patel’s family lives in India, no victim impact statement could be presented.

The defendant’s lawyer Philippa McAtasney told the court that the teen suffers from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) along with low intelligence. He carries a history of weapon offenses and was reported to have punched a teacher once but he is not “beyond hope and help.”

The teen gave a handwritten note to the judge, showing that he was remorseful over the killing.

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