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Boy, 16, jailed for manslaughter of Colindale shopkeeper who wouldn’t sell him cigarette papers

PUBLISHED: 17:41 07 September 2018 | UPDATED: 17:41 07 September 2018

Vijay Patel (Picture: Met Police)

Vijay Patel (Picture: Met Police)

Archant

A 16-year-old Brent boy has been locked up for four years for killing a Colindale shopkeeper who refused to sell him Rizla papers.

Tributes to Vijay Patel outside a shop on The Broadway in Mill Hill, north London. Picture: Kirsty O'Connor/PA ImagesTributes to Vijay Patel outside a shop on The Broadway in Mill Hill, north London. Picture: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Images

The teenager “launched” himself at Vijaykumar Patel, 49, causing a “catastrophic” head injury in an unprovoked attack outside the minimarket in Mill Hill Broadway on January 6.

He had claimed self defence but was found guilty of manslaughter following an Old Bailey trial.

The court heard the boy, who has ADHD and low intelligence, had previous convictions for weapons and kicking and punching a teacher at his school.

And at the time of the killing, he had been on bail and was in breach of a curfew.

A candlelit vigil was held for Vijay Patel in Mill Hill (Picture: @MPSBarnet)A candlelit vigil was held for Vijay Patel in Mill Hill (Picture: @MPSBarnet)

Philippa McAtasney, QC, argued in mitigation that the boy was “not beyond hope and help”.

She said he had been affected by the stabbing of a youth worker friend who had confronted a drug dealer.

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had used his “best handwriting” to express his remorse in a letter to the judge.

However, Mr Justice Stuart-Smith said: “He is a time bomb. 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 heard the teenager had five alcoholic drinks at a party earlier that evening.

He went into the shop with two friends and tried to buy cigarette papers, but they were sent away for being under 18.

He became aggressive and shouted abuse before hurling himself at Mr Patel outside the shop.

Mr Justice Stuart-Smith added: “The CCTV shows he was simply standing with his hands in his pockets doing nothing.

“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 defenceless and did not move - you struck him.”

The boys were seen laughing, joking and happy as they fled the scene, the court heard.

Mr Patel, a father of two, was found by police unconscious and bleeding and rushed to hospital. He died the next day from an injury to the back of his head.

The boy received an extended sentence of four years’ detention and a further three years on licence.

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