Mumbai, Sep 11: Three years after a group of five young boys brutally stabbed a 54-year-old woman to death and hung her 18-month-old grandson from a ceiling fan with a telephone cord, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday confirmed the death sentence handed out to two of the accused.
Justice DG Deshpande and Justice SA Bobade upheld the Sessions Court order, which in November 25 had sentenced Assis Warawale, 20, and Clint Fernades,19, to death for the murder of Leticia Mendes and her grandson Dylan Lobo during a robbery on November 19, 2003. The third accused, Wilfred Dias, was sentenced to five year’s imprisonment while the other two, Clinton Fernandes, 16, and Karan Khanna, 17, are awaiting trial in the juvenile court.
On Wednesday, Warawale and Fernades sat in the court without looking at each other.
The case, which came to be known as the Borivali double murder case, had shocked Mumbaikars for the extent of brutality executed by the young boys. “This is a case where the accused have indulged in extreme brutality. Murder of Leticia was gruesome and brutal and the murder of the infant was diabolic and cruel,” the HC stated. The judges observed that there was no remorse or repentance on the part of the accused, who are educated and belong to middle-class families.
According to public prosecutor DS Mhaispurkar, Warawale and others first won Leticia’s confidence by joining her cookery class. On 19 November 2003, they came to Mendes’ Borivali flat with the intention of robbing her and ended up killing Leticia and her grandson Dylan, who had been crying. They also stabbed Leticia’s daughter Glenda Lobo, and left her for dead. She survived the assault and was a prime witness in the case. They escaped with the booty of Rs 74,000, which was later recovered from them.
Calling it a “rarest of rare case”, the judges said that the accused had absolutely no reason for killing an innocent infant. They held that there were no mitigating circumstances to show leniency to the accused. The judges stayed their order for eight weeks to enable the accused to file an appeal. “We will definitely move the Supreme Court. It is a matter of life for the two young boys,” defence lawyer Majeed Memon said.
While sentencing the duo to death, Sessions Judge RB Mullick had held, “How will society bear the burden of leniency shown to the killers of a one-and-a-half-year-old who hung from the ceiling fan while the accused were busy collecting the loot”.