22 Dec 2011

Killer of Indian man in Melbourne gets 13 years

5:16 pm on 22 December 2011

A 17-year-old youth who fatally stabbed Indian national Nitin Garg in Melbourne nearly two years ago has been sentenced to 13 years in prison.

The youth, who cannot be named, was 15 at the time and pleaded guilty to murder and attempted armed robbery. He will serve eight years before being eligible for parole.

The death of Mr Garg, 21, came during a series of attacks on Indian nationals in Australia, the ABC reports. The incident and the ensuing manhunt further inflamed relations between the two countries.

Sections of the Indian media said Australia was racist and unsafe for Indians.

But in sentencing on Thursday, Justice Paul Coghlan found Mr Garg was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time - walking through the park where the boy was loitering with a friend.

The judge says Mr Garg was talking on a phone that his attacker decided to steal, and race was not a motivating factor.