May 21 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Three men have been sentenced to life for a gang-related shooting in Stockwell, south London, that left a five-year-old girl paralysed.
Nathaniel Grant, Anthony McCalla and Kazeem Kolawole were hunting down a rival gang member when they shot Thusha Kamaleswaran at her aunt’s shop in March last year.
They were found guilty last month of causing GBH with intent to Thusha and shopper Roshan Selvakumar, who was shot in the face, as well as attempted murder of their intended victim Roshaun Bryan.
Grant will serve a minimum of 17 years, and Kolawole and McCalla at least 14 years.
Kolawole, 19, of Kennington, south-east London; McCalla, 20, of Streatham, south London; and Grant, 21, of Camberwell, south-east London, were told their crimes were “of the utmost gravity”.
Judge Martin Stephens QC said: “Mr Selvakumar was hit in the head but miraculously survived with a piece of bullet remaining in his head.
“Five-year-old Thusha, who was dancing around with her family in the shop, was hit in the body. Only the skill and devotion of the medical teams who became involved saved her life but she remains paralysed below her chest and this condition is permanent.”
Judge Stephens told the trio: “Not one of you has, in my judgment, shown a sliver of remorse.”
He said: “You, Grant, were the gunman and the other two your fully supportive lieutenants backing up all your actions to the hilt and giving you the support and encouragement to carry out these terrible deeds.
“In my judgment, this is an exceptional case of the utmost gravity.
“Shooting into a shop, a confined space where it was known there were people present, is an attack on society itself by men who saw themselves as outside the law and above the law.”
The trio cycled up to Stockwell Food and Wine on March 29 last year and Grant opened fire into the shop, hitting Mr Selvakumar and Thusha.
Jurors were told he would have been able to see the girl as he fired his second shot.
The three men were members of the Brixton-based OC (Organised Criminals) gang, and were on the hunt for a member of their bitter rivals ABM (All Bout Money).
Thusha was hit in the chest and the bullet passed through the seventh vertebra of her spine.
She went into cardiac arrest twice and had to undergo emergency surgery in the shop and at hospital, and is now permanently paralysed.
Mr Selvakumar has bullet fragments lodged in his head that cannot safely be removed.
After the verdicts last month, Thusha, now six, told the Daily Mail: “I worry that someone will try to hurt me again.”
Her family has been left battling debt and mother Sharmila Kamaleswaran is said to have suffered insomnia and depression.
She said in a victim impact statement that seeing her daughter, who dreamed of being a dancer, in a hospital bed “took my heart away”.