Oz teen gets 13 yrs in jail for killing Nitin Garg | world | Hindustan Times
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Oz teen gets 13 yrs in jail for killing Nitin Garg

world Updated: Dec 23, 2011 01:47 IST
PTI
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An Australian teenage boy was on Thursday jailed for 13 years by a court here for murdering Indian student Nitin Garg, a heinous crime that followed a slew of racist attacks on community members and sparked a diplomatic row with New Delhi.

The teenager, whose identity was not revealed as he is a minor, had pleaded guilty in April to one count of murder and one count of attempted armed robbery in the killing of 21-year-old Garg on January 2, 2010.

Garg, who had migrated from Punjab, was fatally stabbed in the abdomen in Cruickshank Park here while he was on his way to his part-time job at a nearby restaurant. He managed to stagger to his workplace before succumbing to his wounds in hospital.

Justice Paul Coghlan of the Victoria state Supreme Court sentenced the teenager to 13 years in jail, with a non-parole period of eight years.

Coghlan said the killing was awful and tragic. He, however, said it was a crime of opportunity rather than race.

“The community abhors the use of knives because of the consequences such as this,” the judge said. He found the task of sentencing a very difficult one, saying that “in circumstances such as these there are just no winners.” The justice said one able young man was dead, while the teenager's life had changed forever.

“Although this was a very serious crime, it was committed spontaneously,” he said, adding, “it should be noted, however, that you (the convict) chose to arm yourself and did a great deal to avoid apprehension for your crime.”

The convict was 15-and-a-half years old when he stabbed Garg, an accounts graduate.

The judge said that for “reasons never explained” the teenager, who attacked Garg, had left his house that day with a folding knife in his pocket.

He said that the teenager along with some other boys was in the park when Garg walked past on his way to work at the Yarraville Hungry Jack’s restaurant on the corner of Geelong and Somerville roads and was talking on his phone.

The teen's friend said “that bloke's phone looks nice” so the boy took his long-sleeve jumper off and wrapped it over his face saying he was going to “roll” Garg. He held the knife up to Garg and demanded his phone.

Case history

Garg, who had migrated from Punjab, was fatally stabbed in the abdomen in Cruickshank Park.

He was on his way to his part-time job at a restaurant. He managed to stagger to his workplace before succumbing to injuries in hospital.

The convict was 15-and-a-half years old when he stabbed Garg, an accounts graduate.