Two teenagers convicted of murdering Rishmeet Singh, 16

Image above: Rishmeet Singh

Attackers mistook victim for rival gang member 

Two teenagers have been found guilty of killing a 16-year-old boy in Hounslow who they mistakenly thought belonged to a rival gang.

Vanushan Balakrishnan and Ilyas Suleiman, now both 18, stabbed Rishmeet Singh 15 times in November 2021 after chasing him down Raleigh Road, Southall, in the borough of Hounslow, on Wednesday 24 November.

Rishmeet had tripped and fallen when both Balakrishnan and Suleiman attacked him.

The whole incident lasted 27 seconds and the teenager’s body was left on the ground as the two fled the scene of the crime.

The 16-year-old died at the scene and it was determined he was a victim of mistaken identity.

Image above: Rishmeet Singh

Rishmeet’s mother says she will “never get over losing him in this way”

In a statement, Rishmeet’s mother Gulinder said:

“Rishmeet was my only child, and he had his whole life ahead of him. No words could ever explain or put into context how I have felt since Rishmeet was taken from us. 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.

“Rishmeet was attending college completing a Public Service course and his ambition was to become a police officer, all he wanted to do was to help people. Rishmeet was well loved by all that knew him, he was a faithful boy and was very caring in his nature.

“I have lost my husband and now I have lost my only child, my son. 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.”

Image above: Met Police officers

Rishmeet ‘was in the wrong place at the wrong time’ say Met 

Detective Inspector Laura Semple, from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said:

“Rishmeet was an innocent, young 16-year-old who had his whole life ahead of him. He had just spent an enjoyable evening with his friends and was making the short walk home when he was callously chased down and knifed to death by Balakrishnan and Suleiman.

“Between them, they stabbed him 15 times while he was defenceless on the floor. There is never an excuse to murder someone in cold blood, but this case is made even more tragic by the fact that Rishmeet was wrongly targeted by his attackers.

“Balakrishnan and Suleiman left the flat that day with the intention of ending someone’s life. Poor Rishmeet was simply in the wrong place, at the wrong time. My thoughts remain with Rishmeet’s family and friends, who have shown extraordinary courage throughout, including during the trial where they were forced to re-live Rishmeet’s horrific last moments.”

Rishmeet came to the UK in October 2019 with his mother and grandmother to seek asylum from Jalalabad in Afghanistan. His father was killed by the Taliban six months prior to that, and shortly after they tried to kidnap Rishmeet – forcing the family to flee to the UK.

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