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Fire-bomb attack trio are jailed

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by Archived_Member16, Jul 7, 2009.

  1. Archived_Member16

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    Jan 7, 2005
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    Fire-bomb attack trio are jailed

    Three men have been jailed for fire-bombing a house and a temple after being angered by the marriage of a Sikh woman to a Hindu man.

    Sikhs Sandip Rooprai, 21, Mukham Dogra, 18, and his brother Jasdev Dogra, 19, acted out "a misguided sense of honour", Winchester Crown Court heard.

    All three men, from Swindon, Wiltshire, had originally pleaded guilty to arson.

    A jury found them guilty on two counts of arson with recklessness as to whether life was endangered.

    Rooprai became incensed when his sister married a Hindu man, and he persuaded the Dogra brothers to help take revenge.

    A judge at Southampton Crown Court sentenced Rooprai, of Penhill Drive, Swindon, to nine years in jail.

    Mukham Dogra, of Cowdrey Close, Toothill, was jailed for seven years and four months and Jasdev Dogra, who lived with him, was jailed for five years and eight months.

    The attackers targeted a Bristol temple and the Swindon home of a wedding witness in early 2008.

    After the case Det Ch Insp Bob Hamlin said: "This series of offences could easily have led to the deaths of one or more occupants of the attacked houses.

    "The third attack in particular, was a planned, concerted effort aimed at endangering the lives of those occupants who were in their beds."

    Story from BBC NEWS:
    BBC NEWS | UK | England | Wiltshire | Fire-bomb attack trio are jailed

    Published: 2009/07/06 14:12:00 GMT

    © BBC MMIX



    Court told ringleader felt humilated by his sister's marriage

    7:20pm Monday 6th July 2009

    THREE men have been jailed for their part in twice fire bombing a Swindon house in a revenge mission, while its occupants slept.

    Sikh Sandip Rooprai, of Penhill Drive, who felt humiliated when his sister married a Hindu man, was yesterday jailed for nine years for setting alight the Bristol home of the priest who conducted the ceremony.

    The 20-year-old also attacked the Swindon home of one of his sister’s Muslim friends for acting as a witness at the secret wedding.

    Rooprai launched the three arson attacks in what was described by prosecutor Ian Lawrie as a “warped sense of honour”.

    He believed his family had been dishonoured in the Sikh community after his 22-year-old sister Pardip married neighbour Gaurav Kapoor, 29, at a Hindu temple.

    The former Honda factory production line worker travelled 40 miles with friends Mukham Singh Dogra, 18, and Jasdev Dogra, 19, from their home in Cowdrey Close, Toothill, West Swindon, to the priest’s house.

    Rooprai and Mukham Dogra poured petrol through the letter box and set it alight but it failed to take hold.

    Jasdev Dogra drove them to Broad Street in Swindon, where they firebombed a Ford Scorpio car they wrongly believed belonged to the father of wedding witness Alpona Begum Rahim.

    Three days later all three men went to Miss Rahim’s family home in Broad Street and threw a petrol bomb at the front window. But the molotov cocktail failed to smash the double glazing and they returned two weeks later with a brick and another petrol bomb.

    This time the fire took hold. Miss Rahim and her mother Sajaha took cover in an upstairs bedroom to avoid thick smoke until the fire brigade arrived and put out the blaze.

    Miss Rahim’s sister Rahima and dad Mohammed escaped from a bedroom window. All four were taken to the Great Western Hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.

    Peter Rowland, defending Rooprai, said his client acted because he was under considerable pressure from family members.

    “Sandip is a naive and impressionable young man,” he said. “His actions were due to a combination of considerable pressure from his extended family and a misguided sense of manhood. He felt he was standing up for his family.

    “An emotional earthquake led him to act in such a way that was so out of character it is almost beyond belief. It is tragic that despite the fact there has been reconciliation between the families the defendants still have to bear the brunt of what they did.”

    Paul Orton, defending Mukham Dogra, said: “He was immature and not a prime mover in these incidents. The pressure on Mr Rooprai was passed down to Mr Dogra and that prompted him to act.”

    Chris Oswald, defending Jasdev Dogra, said: “Mr Dogra acted out of misplaced loyalty to his friend because of the severe distress he could see he was experiencing at the time.”

    A jury found the men guilty in May although sentencing was adjourned until yesterday.

    During sentencing at Southampton Crown Court, Judge Jeremy Burford QC said he acknowledged the families had now made up.

    He said: “All three defendants have shown remorse, which I accept is genuine and there has been reconciliation between Sandip Rooprai, Pardip Rooprai, her husband and the families.

    “The defendants had no intention to harm anybody.”

    Rooprai was sentenced to nine years in a young offenders’ institute for two counts of arson and two counts of arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

    Mukham Dogra was given seven years and four months and Jasdev Dogra five years and eight months for the same offences.

    The time already spent in custody, which is almost a year, will be deducted from the sentences.

    THE top Wiltshire policeman who led the investigation says it was lucky four people did not die in their Swindon home.

    Det Chief Insp Bob Hamlin, from the Major Investigations Team, said: “If the fire station had not been three minutes away from Miss Rahim’s house the likeliness is we would be dealing with four corpses.

    “These attacks caused £116,000 pounds of damage, took us four months to investigate and needed up to 50 officers.

    “We all live in communities with a variety of differing cultures and beliefs and we respect the rights of everyone to conduct their lives in accordance with their cultural and religious beliefs.

    “However, they must never stray into areas of illegality or endanger the lives of other community members.

    “The evidence clearly shows that these offences were directly linked to issues of family honour.

    The third attack in particular, was a planned, concerted effort aimed at endangering the lives of those occupants who were in their beds.”
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