Attackers of Manor Park temple spared jail

THREE armed thugs who stormed a Hindu temple to batter a rival and his friend with an assortment of weapons have been spared jail.

Dushanthan Mahendran, 22, his 19-year-old brother Dhanushan Mahendran and Kabilan Sebarajah, also 19, and a fourth unnamed man, chased the victims into the lobby of the holy house wielding a cricket stump, a steering lock and a vodka bottle.

The 19-year-old victims, Dasivan Lenin and Kalaiyanarajah Saithryawelan, were battered about the head to the horror of families who had been worshipping at the Sri Murugam Temple in Manor Park.

The victims needed stitches for head wounds which left pools of blood at the scene. After the brutal CCTV-captured attack, the foursome ran back to their BMW parked nearby and drove away, Inner London Crown Court heard.

Despite the seriousness of their actions the judge, Recorder Carr QC, handed them suspended sentences after hearing they were previously of “impeccable character”.

Since the incident two years ago on January 18, 2009, they claim to have distanced themselves from the culture which led them to commit crime.

The two 19-year-old students, Dhanushan studying physics at Aston University in Birmingham, while his brother runs the family business.

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The judge said: “At 1.40 on a Sunday afternoon you and another defendant drove a BMW up to the outside of the temple. You then got out of the vehicle, three of you arming yourselves and proceeded to attack two individuals, one with which you had a long standing grievance.”

The judge said it was a revenge attack sparked by Mr Lenin’s “interference” with Dhanushan’s car. He said: “None of you have a history of violence at all or involvement with police .

“All three appear to have managed to stay out of trouble and taken steps to remove yourselves from circumstances which may have led you into trouble.

“Obviously this crosses the custody threshold but I am able to suspend the sentence in the circumstances.

“It was a joint enterprise, you took revenge on two complainants, one of whom appears to be wholly innocent of any involvement with you. It was at a place of worship in circumstances which must have been terrifying to onlookers or anyone unfortunate to see the blood spilled on the steps.

“I have heard there is a substantial possibility that Lenin has connections to a gang operating in that area. It provides some explanation but no justification.”

He handed them all 12 months custody suspended for two years and 220 hours’ unpaid work. Sebarajah, of Lynn Road, Ilford, and the Mehandrans, of Kempton Road, East Ham, both admitted one count of unlawful wounding.