Indian seafarers Gregory Kiran Fernandes (age 32) and Vinod Pitchilnaviram (29) from cargo ship “The Garonne” were attacked by a group of about 20 teenagers on October 20, 2007 while returning to their ship in Fawley, Southampton, Hampshire, U.K.
Fernandes died before reaching the ship and Vinod suffered a broken shoulder. The sufferings of Fernandes of Goa and Vinod of Kerala tell us that Indian seafarers are subjected to racial attacks also.
- Fernandes and Vinod had drinks at the Falcon Hotel, in the presence of lots of youths who were also having drinks.
- Between 2100 hours and 2200 hours on October 20, 2007: they were attacked by a group of teenagers, first outside the hotel and then on the road when they were returning to their ship, berthed at Fawley oil refinery.
- Both the seafarers were seriously injured.
- A member of the public, took the initiative to intervene and rescued Fernandes. He took him in his car to drop him at Fawley refinery. But shortly after reaching the front gate of Fawley refinery, Fernandes died due to heart failure caused by injury/shock.
- Jody Miles then gone back to help the other seafarer Vinod.
- Fawley never witnessed such a racially motivated attack in the past and plunged into shame and mourning.
- An emotional candlelight vigil was held in the village square and funds raised to help Fernandes’ family in Goa, India.
- At the Winchester Crown Court in February this year, three teenagers Stephen Pritchard (18), Daniel Rogers (18), and Chay Fields (16) admitted to manslaughter and also pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm on Vinod.
- Justice Royce on March 20 delivered the judgment.
- Fields, Rogers and Pritchard were jailed to six and a half years each.
- A fourth teenager, now aged 15, was sentenced to a 12-month detention and training order. He admitted inflicting grievous body harm on Vinod.
- A fifth teenager was given a non-custodial 18-month supervision order.
- Justice Royce ordered that 250 pounds be released from public funds to Jody Miles as a token recognition of his bravery.
- Read comments from the readers, on the crime committed to seafarers from Times Online.
- Read comments from the readers, on the judgment, from The Times of India.
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