Two teens stabbed boy 15 times in mistaken identity murder

Two teenagers have been convicted of murdering an innocent 16-year-old in a mistaken identity murder. Rishmeet Singh was stabbed to death in west London while he lay “defenceless on the floor”. Vanushan Balakrishnan and Ilyas Suleiman, both 18, were found guilty of murder. The court heard that the pair had intended to go out and commit murder, leaving a flat armed with knives and covering their faces. Metropolitan Police said Rishmeet was “wrongly targeted” in “cold blood” by the duo.

The court heard that Rishmeet was meeting with friends on the evening of his death before taking the short walk home at around 9pm when he saw the two teenagers running towards him.

He turned and ran back to his friends shouting “run, run” but tripped and fell. The attackers stabbed him 15 times in just 27 seconds, according to police.

Emergency services were called, but Rishmeet was pronounced dead at the scene.

Balakrishnan and Suleiman were captured on CCTV with police saying they were “clearly identifiable” from what they were wearing.

Balakrishnan was arrested on suspicion of murder in December 2021. Officers recovered the clothing he had worn most of the day before and after the murder, as well as a notebook containing lyrics that he had written, describing unique features of Rishmeet’s murder, including Rishmeet running and tripping over.

The force recovered his phone which showed a note on his phone saying: “Saw news statement it says a good yute but he was out with paigions [enemies.]”

“Stupid media it was a glide not for some stupid s*** he wears.” A ‘glide’ is entering gang territory with the intention of using violence against a rival gang.

However, the court heard that Rishmeet was not in a gang.

Paying tribute to her son, Rishmeet’s mother Gulinder said he had “his whole life ahead of him”.

“He has been raised with so much love and now he’s gone. I am struggling to understand as to how and why this happened to my baby boy. I feel I have lost everything and my life is over.

“I will never get over losing him in this way. I will not see him grow up into a young man. I will not see him leave college. I will not see him fulfil his aspirations. I will not see him learn to drive. I will not see him fall in love and get married. I will not become a grandmother and see my son grow old. I have been robbed of so many future events.”

She added: “Justice is finally served for Rishmeet but their sentence will never be enough for me. They have taken my whole life away from me and Rishmeet will never come home again.”

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Suleiman was being sought by police in connection with Rishmeet’s murder but he could not be located and was reported missing by his mother.

The court heard that Suleiman had gone into hiding as he knew he was wanted for the murder.

Balakrishnan and Suleiman will be sentenced next month.

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