Five Skinheads Sentenced in Canada
Nov. 16, 1999
SURREY, British Columbia (AP) _ Five men linked to a neo-Nazi skinhead group were sentenced Tuesday to prison terms ranging from 12 to 15 years for beating to death the elderly caretaker of a Sikh temple.
Provincial Judge William Stewart ruled that the killing of Nirmal Singh Gill, 65, was racially motivated. Calling the incident repugnant, Stewart described the killers as ``moronic braggarts.''
Gill died ``simply because he was Indo-Canadian,'' the judge said. ``He was attacked because he was different from the accused. It is that simple.''
The five pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the January 1998 killing outside the Guru Nanak Temple in suburban Surrey.
All five _ Nathan LeBlanc, 27; Robert Kluch, 26; Radoslaw Synderek, 24; Daniel Miloszewski, 22; and Lee Nikkel, 18 _ had links to a neo-Nazi group called White Power, according to courtroom evidence.
Police said the men bragged about the killing to undercover officers posing as motorcycle gang members.
Stewart could have sentenced the five to life in prison, as recommended by prosecutors, but prosecutors said the final sentence was heavier than most manslaughter cases. The defendants can apply for parole after serving a third of their sentences.
Defense lawyers said the men never intended to kill Gill, and only realized he had died from a news report.
Dozens of people attended Tuesday's hearing, held under tight security in the Vancouver suburb that has about 40,000 people of Indian origin among its 300,000 residents.
``Justice has been done,'' temple member Peja Singh Phagura said after the case. ``Nobody can return Nirmal Singh Gill.''