…By Henry George for TDPel Media.
Two teenagers, Prabjeet Veadhesa and Sukhman Shergill, have been sentenced to life in prison for the stabbing death of a 16-year-old boy, Ronan Kanda.
The attack, which occurred in Wolverhampton last year, was a case of mistaken identity as Ronan was not the intended victim.
However, Veadhesa and Shergill, both 17 years old, wrongly assumed he was the person they were looking for.
The attack took place on Mount Road as Ronan was walking home from a friend’s house, just yards away from his own residence.
The Tragic Coincidence
In a tragic coincidence, Veadhesa and Shergill had seen Ronan leaving the house of their intended target and mistook him for the person they were after.
Without any provocation, they followed Ronan and launched a brutal assault.
Veadhesa used a vicious Ninja knife that he had purchased online, stabbing Ronan twice.
The wounds inflicted were severe—a 20cm deep wound in his back and hip area, and a 17cm deep wound in his chest.
Despite the seriousness of the injuries, the attackers left Ronan to die on the street.
Motive and Escape
The court learned that Veadhesa had previously lent money to their intended victim, but he had not repaid it.
The defendants went in search of him to scare him into returning the money.
On the day of the attack, Veadhesa had acquired the weapons—a Ninja sword set and a large machete—using a fake name and collecting them from a local Post Office.
After realizing they had mistaken Ronan for their target, Veadhesa and Shergill fled the scene and disposed of the weapons and their clothing.
Verdict and Sentencing
Although Shergill did not physically harm Ronan, the court found him guilty under the joint enterprise of murder.
After a five-week trial, both teenagers were convicted by a jury.
At the sentencing in Wolverhampton Crown Court, judge Mr Justice Choudhury denounced the attack as a cowardly act and handed down the sentences.
Veadhesa was sentenced to a minimum of 18 years, while Shergill received a minimum of 16 years in prison.
The judge acknowledged the immense pain suffered by Ronan’s family and emphasized that nothing can alleviate their loss.
Family’s Grief and Impact
During the courtroom proceedings, Ronan’s family and friends, wearing ‘Justice for Ronan’ t-shirts, listened to emotional tributes from his father, sister, and mother.
Ronan’s mother, Pooja Kanda, expressed her profound grief and stated that she had no desire to live anymore since her son was taken from her.
She described the strong bond she shared with her son and the impact his loss has had on her life.
Addressing the defendants, Mrs. Kanda declared that she would never forgive them, and she hoped for true justice to be served.
Planning and Remorse
Before the final sentencing, the prosecutor highlighted the significant degree of planning and premeditation involved in the attack.
The defendants had ordered the weapons in advance and had taken steps to conceal their identities.
After committing the murder, they disposed of the weapons and clothing.
The prosecutor also noted the lack of true remorse demonstrated by the defendants, emphasizing the brutality of the crime and the fact that Ronan was an innocent victim.
Defense and Sentencing
During the defense arguments, Veadhesa’s lawyer, Adam Morgan, pointed out that his client had no previous convictions and had been of good character.
He claimed that Veadhesa was genuinely remorseful and that the burden of his actions would haunt him for the rest of his life.
Shergill’s defense lawyer, Timothy Hannam, asserted that his client should be treated more leniently as he did not physically harm Ronan.
However, the judge emphasized that both defendants were responsible for the joint enterprise of the murder.
He condemned the ease with which such weapons could be purchased online and described the attack as a cowardly act stemming from a trivial dispute over money.
He criticized the defendants for their lack of humanity in fleeing the scene and leaving Ronan to die.