Several men have been given long prison sentences at the Old Bailey, on 13 and 14 June, following a violent gang ambush which left a 26-year-old man with fatal axe injuries.
Prasad Sothalingham (centre right), 26, of Mitcham, was jailed for 29 years after he was found guilty of killing Neal Croos.
He was also found guilty of the grievous bodily harm with intent on another man, Jeyathaapan Ganasliongan. He was also convicted of violent disorder at the first trial relating this case at the Old Bailey on 24 August, 2016.
The victim, aged 26, died following the brutal fight between the two factions of the same gang which took place in the early evening of Monday, 23 November 2015 in Holborn Way, Mitcham.
The following men were also convicted and sentenced:
Susan Selvarajan (centre left), 33, of Rotherham, Yorks, was also found guilty of one count of grievous bodily harm with intent on Rajendren Mahindaskaran and one count of violent disorder. He was found not guilty of murder. He was sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment.
Sivakaran Ockelrsz (far left), 19, of Streatham, was found guilty of violent disorder. He had previously been found not guilty of murder and four counts of attempted murder at the trial in August, 2016. He was sentenced to two years and seven months imprisonment.
Visuparathan Dayaparan (far right), 24, of Mitcham, was found guilty of violent disorder . He was previously found not guilty of murder and four counts of attempted murder at the trial in August, 2016. He was sentenced to two years and three months imprisonment.
The court heard how on the late autumn night in 2015 that Mr Croos was fatally injured as a result of the violent altercation, he was found with serious head injuries in the street and taken to St George’s Hospital in Tooting. He died two days later. An axe, sword and bottles were all used in the altercation between the rival gang factions.
A post-mortem examination held at St George’s Hospital on Friday, 27 November gave cause of death as a head injury caused by multiple blows with an axe.
The victim’s friend managed to escape possible fatal injuries after protecting his head with his hands which resulted in his fingers being severed. They were reattached in hospital. Two other men were also injured.
The two groups of men had all known each other for some time. They were part of same gang but one faction of the group was made up of younger members and another of older men. Mr Croos was part of the older group.
A split within the gang had led to escalating tensions which overflowed on 23 November 2015 in Mitcham when one side ambushed the other. The suspect group were celebrating a friends birthday in Morrison’s Car Park, whilst the victim’s group was in Sithorpe Car Park some 300 metres away. After leaving Morrison’s, the assailants ran up Majestic Way into Sithorpe Car Park where they assaulted Neal and his friends. The weapons involved were never recovered.
Detective Inspector Louise Knipe of the Homicide and Major Crime Command said, “This was horrific attack on a young man and his friends by a group of men who had no hesitation in using an extreme level of violence. It left one man dead in truly horrific circumstances and others with significant injuries.
“These men are extremely dangerous and the choice of the weapons they used displayed what lengths they were prepared to go to in order to prove their credentials against a rival faction of the same gang. They will now face lengthy prison sentences as a result.”
“This has been a long an protracted enquiry where the murder investigation team would like to thank the victims and witnesses who gave evidence at both trials.”
Neal’s girlfriend, who did not wish to be name, stated in her victim impact statement that she and her partner of six years were planning to get engaged. She explained that following his death, she had felt forced to resign from her job as she was unable to work and had difficulty leaving the house as she was so devastated. “Never in my life did I expect to have someone who meant so much to me murdered and taken away from me,” she said.
“I constantly think about him and miss him so much every day. Losing him has left a huge emptiness in my life and I find it hard to known that he is not around anymore to look after me and bring happiness into my life.
“I go to the cemetery every week to see him as that is the closest that I can get to him. I will always remember him and wish that he was back here with me now.”