Three teenagers were caged for a total of 68 years years today, Friday, April 11, for stabbing to death grandfather Sharif Demirsay in his home.
The sentencing meant Sharif’s widow kept her promise to him that she would “get justice” for the brutal murder of the man she loved.
Just before the youths were sentenced, a victim impact statement by the widow, Parshini Salhotra, was read out in court in which she said “I made a promise to Sharif when I saw him for the last time, so cold and emotionless, that I would get justice for what happened.”
The youths murdered Turkish born Sharif Demirsay to get their hands on the Asian gold worth between £5000 to £6000 that they knew was in the pensioner’s bungalow in Kempston near Bedford.
With their faces hidden under their hoodies, they hammered on his door and when he opened it, barged their way in and then stabbed him 11 times.
When Parshini, 69, tried to protect Sharif by striking one of his attackers with her vacuum cleaner pipe, she was stabbed in the arm, so that the blade passed through one side and out the other.
Sharif, who was 65, died from a fatal wound to the heart in front of his partner of more than 20 years.
Today at Luton crown court, Mr Justice Singh told Courtney Glynn, 19, from Kempston and Muhammed Rashid, 17, and 16 year old Hameedur Rahman both from Bedford “The whole incident took less than three minutes. The house was not ransacked, the intruders knew exactly what they were looking for, which was Mrs Salhotra’s gold and cash which were in her handbag.”
He was sentencing the trio the day after a jury had found them guilty of murdering Mr Demirsay last May.
Glynn was sentenced to a minimum term of 27 years in custody before he will be eligible to apply for parole.
Rashid, who was just 17 at the time of the murder, was told he will be detained at her Majesty’s Pleasure for a minimum term of 22 years before he can be considered for parole.
All three teenagers were told they will be on license for the rest of their lives.
Rahman, who was a 15 year old schoolboy when he took part in the murder, was told he will be detained for a minimum term of 19 years.
The court heard the money has never been recovered and neither has the jewellery.
The knives the boys had on them that night have never been found along with the gloves they wore.
Before the three were led away to begin their sentences, the statement of Parshini was read out in court, in which she said “There is not a day that goes by where I am not tormented by thoughts of when he was brutally murdered right before my eyes in a cold and callous attack.
“It is an ongoing painful battle for me to carry on living with the memories of the night of May 14 last year.” she said.
The statement went on “How youths of today can force their way into the home of pensioners and carry out such a horrific and inhumane act on Sharif and make me watch at knife point is a sickening thought, yet this happened to me. Where is the justice when something as barbaric as this happens, especially to an elderly sick man.”
Parshini went on “The scum that carried out this senseless, immoral murder have absolutely no idea what damage they have done. They have destroyed so many other lives in the process.”
Nearly a year on, his widow said she often recalls the defendants shouting out “Kill him, kill him,” as they stabbed Sharif.
Sharif, who had 12 grandchildren as well as great grandchildren, lived with his partner Parshini for more than 20 years in an end of terrace bungalow in Vineyard Way, Kempston.
The concrete area to the side of his property was a popular congregation point for local youths and the victim regularly went outside his home for a cigarette.
During the trial the jury heard how in the weeks leading up to the stabbing last May, rumours were flying around amongst local youths on the estate that a “move” - a slang term for a run in, run out burglary - was being planned.
Shortly before the killing, Courtney Glynn, and Muhammed Rashid from Bedford were huddled together in a smoking shelter at a college with others where they were on a building course, and the talk was of “a load of gold in Kempston.”
Rashid had recruited his friend Hameedur Rahman on the day of the planned “move.”
On the evening of May 14 last year the three walked into the cul-de-sac where Sharif and Parshini lived.
At around 9.30pm that knocked loudly on the front door. When he opened it they barged their way in and all three set about him with knives.
Jane Bickerstasff QC prosecuting said “All three were shouting kill him! and jumping up and down like animals. It was as if they were encouraging each other to kill him.”
As Sharif, a retired chef lay slumped on the floor and dying, the gang grabbed 22 carat gold bangles, rings and earrings and £1000 in cash from his partner’s handbag and made off into the night.
The jury found the three teenagers guilty of the murder.
A fourth teenager, Travis Dixon Charles, 18, said to have been a look out for the other three, was found not guilty of the murder.
Parshini Salhotra told the court she heard a loud knock and Sharif went to answer it, telling whoever was outside “Hold on, hold on.”
Mrs Salhotra said she came out of the kitchen to see three boys near the front door, each armed with a knife and wearing hoodies with the hoods pulled up to hide their faces
All three she said set about her partner stabbing him and she said she could hear someone shouting “kill him, kill him!”
Mrs Salhotra said she eventually grabbed her vacuum cleaner pipe from a cupboard and struck one of the youths over the head in an effort to protect Sharif.
In retaliation she said the attacker rounded on her and stabbed her in the left forearm, so that the blade of his knife passed through the arm and came out the other side.
With that she said she was pushed into her bedroom by the intruder.
She told the jury “He said ‘Where is your money where is your gold?’ I said ‘take the money, take the gold. Leave my Sharif alone’.”
The alarm was raised and Mr Demirsay was rushed by ambulance to hospital.
But at 10.35 that night he was pronounced dead.
All four teenagers had pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr Demirsay on the evening of May 14 last year.
Mr Dixon-Charles was acquitted of aggravated burglary but the jury convicted Glynn and Rashid of the same charge.
The 16 year old had earlier admitted the offence.
Glynn, Rashid and Rahman were found guilty of unlawfully wounding Mr Demirsay’s partner, Mrs Salhotra, but Mr Dixon-Charles was found not guilty.
Glynn was found guilty of a charge he alone had faced of intimidating a witness and possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
The court was told that following the stabbing, Courtney Glynn had quizzed the youth said to have been invited earlier over Facebook to take part in the ‘move’, about whether he had spoken to anyone about the murder.
Miss Bickerstaff told the court it took place on a bridge over the river at Great Denham.
She said “Courtney said there was a snitch involved and the youth denied it was him. At this point Courtney showed him a black drawstring bag. He let him feel it and the youth could clearly feel a gun inside. Courtney took out the gun, took out a magazine and showed him four bullets in it. He said ‘This is what happens to snitches,’ and fired off a shot across the river. This had the desired effect of making the boy scared.”
Following the verdicts on Thursday scuffles broke out on the concourse outside the courtroom between the family of the deceased and supporters of the teenagers.