NRI victim's kin upset over sentence
Stephen McGlone, who admitted the manslaughter of BM Sharma, has been jailed for 17 months.india Updated: Dec 17, 2005 13:58 IST
A man who admitted the manslaughter of a Belfast-based shopkeeper of Indian origin has been jailed for 17 months, sparking outrage in the victim's family.
Brij Mohan Sharma, 40, was punched in the face by Stephen Darren McGlone, 22, in Tyrone on April 27 last year. He fell on the pavement, his skull was fractured by the fall and died in hospital two days later.
McGlone agreed to serve a further 12 months on probation.
Criticising the sentence, Bharat Sharma, the victim's brother, said: No sentence can bring my brother back. The system failed not only us, his family, but our brother and his memory."
Sharma said the sentence would also disappoint their 70-year-old disabled father. The family was angry, he said, because the case was not considered to have been "racially motivated."
McGlone's 27-year-old brother Mark, who admitted causing criminal damage to Brij Mohan Sharma's Renault car during the incident and to attempting to intimidate his girlfriend, was freed when he agreed to carry out 100 hours' community services.
Sharma, a father of two who ran a newsagent's shop on Belfast's Limestone Road, was reportedly visiting his girlfriend in Tyrone at the time of the incident.
Prosecuting lawyer Philip Mateer said that while Mark McGlone described Sharma as "a paki bastard", the prosecution could not make the case that the assault had been racially motivated.
Defence lawyer James Gallagher said Stephen McGlone never intended to harm Sharma and that "the fatal blow was caused by the fact that the deceased fell - something which he (McGlone) did not anticipate."
Sentencing the brothers, Justice Morgan said it was a tragic case with dreadful consequences, but that there was nothing to suggest that it had any kind of racial motivation.
He said only a single unpremeditated blow had been struck and that the manner of Sharma's death was completely unforeseen.