Distraught relatives of two slain Sikh seniors lashed out at the justice system Friday after two young offenders were convicted of manslaughter, aggravated assault and robbery, but acquitted of second-degree murder in the 2005 beating deaths of Mewa Singh Bains and Shingara Singh Thandi.
Two teens were charged with the robbery of Bains, the aggravated assault of Bains and the second-degree murder of Thandi. B.C. Supreme Court Judge William Grist said he could not convict the teens, aged 13 and 15, of the murder charge because there was no direct evidence that they intended to kill Bains, 82, and Thandi, 76, when they clubbed them with a baseball bat in July 2005.
Thandi, who was attacked July 19, died Aug. 6, while Bains, who was attacked July 18, died Sept. 3. Both assaults took place in in the public bathroom of a Surrey, B.C. park.
The two teens, who cannot be identified, sat expressionless in a packed New Westminster, B.C., courtroom as Grist read his verdict.
Outside court, tears streamed down the faces of family members as they said the youths will soon be out of jail.
"That means they can kill more people," said Jhalman Singh Thandi, son of one of the victims. "They are sending the wrong message to the youth." [Link]
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