Three Indian-origin brothers found guilty of stabbing to death a 22-year-old man in an ongoing dispute in London over a year and a half ago have been sentenced to life imprisonment by a UK court.
Kamal Sohal, 23, Sukhminder Sohal, 25, and Michael Sohal, 28, were found guilty of the September 2019 murder of Osvaldo de Carvalho in Acton area of west London following a trial at Croydon Crown Court in south London on February 16.
At the same court on Thursday, Kamal Sohal was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 22 years and Sukhminder and Michael Sohal were both sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 19 years before being considered for parole.
Antoine George, 24, a fourth man found guilty of manslaughter in the case, was sentenced to nine years' imprisonment.
"This is a particularly tragic case with Osvaldo's family having to live with the pain of his loss. We know there had been previous hostility between these two groups and sadly that culminated in the events that unfolded that evening," said Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) Vicky Tunstall, who led the investigation for the Metropolitan Police Specialist Crime South Command.
"The Sohal brothers had no qualms about arming themselves and - in Kamal's case - running down a busy main road waving the weapon around in full view of all those around. They then subjected Osvaldo - who had no chance of defending himself - to a brutal and sustained attack. Osvaldo's family, I hope, can find some comfort to their pain, knowing that his attackers have now been given lengthy prison sentences," she said.
During the trial, the court heard the convicted men and Osvaldo had been involved in an ongoing dispute when Sukhminder and Michael met Osvaldo and two of his friends on September 24, 2019. They went on to call their brother, Kamal, for support and reinforcement.
On receiving this call, Kamal grabbed a large hunting knife which he "brazenly brandished" as he ran along the Uxbridge Road in west London to the scene from his home nearby. George, who had also been in the house, went with Kamal to the scene of the dispute.
After his arrival and following a brief chase the three men in the victim's group ran from the scene; the two friends heading one way, and Osvaldo running a different way.
Witnesses described him being chased by a group of men, some armed with knives. They caught up with Osvaldo, surrounded him and stabbed him, and then ran off leaving Osvaldo lying on the ground dying. The three brothers left the scene and returned to Kamal's address, the Met Police said.
"Knife crime has a huge, terrible impact on our communities and I hope the sentencing today reflects the seriousness with which violence of this kind will be taken, and deters potential offenders from carrying dangerous weapons," said DCI Tunstall.
"Reducing violent crime in communities across London continues to be the Met's top priority. We are working tirelessly - day and night - to take weapons off the street, engage and reassure the public, and keep our communities safe," she added.
Later, George is said to have left the area in a car which had been parked on the driveway outside Kamal's flat. A post-mortem examination revealed that Osvaldo had suffered multiple stab wounds, including a deep wound to his left leg which would have been caused by significant force. But the fatal wound was a stab wound to his back which was so deep it nearly passed through his body.
The Met Police found that in a bid to cover their tracks, later that evening Michael and Sukhminder had set fire to clothes they had been wearing at the time of the stabbing.
During the police investigation, it was found that on the day of the murder, George and Sukhminder Sohal went to a shop in Hounslow, south-west London, that sold knives and purchased the weapons used and transported them to Kamal's flat. But the court heard that those weapons were never recovered.
It was with the assistance of witnesses and piecing together CCTV that officers were able to trace and arrest the suspects, who were subsequently charged with murder, the Met Police said.
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