London

Men jailed for life for Thusha Kamaleswaran shop shooting

  • 19 April 2012
  • From the section London
Nathaniel Grant, Anthony McCalla and Kazeem Kolawole
Nathaniel Grant, Anthony McCalla and Kazeem Kolawole were described as a risk to the public

Three men have been jailed for life for a shooting in a south London shop which left a five-year-old girl paralysed.

Thusha Kamaleswaran was shot in the chest and Roshan Selvakumar, 35, was also shot in Brixton, last March.

Nathaniel Grant, Kazeem Kolawole and Anthony McCalla were convicted of causing both victims grievous bodily harm with intent and attempted murder of rival gang member Roshaun Bryan.

Grant was told he would serve at least 17 years and Kolawole and McCalla 14.

Judge Martin Stephens QC said the crimes were "of the utmost gravity", adding: "Not one of you has, in my judgment, shown a sliver of remorse."

Last month's Old Bailey trial heard the three cycled up to Stockwell Food and Wine and Grant opened fire.

'Terrible deeds'

A bullet hit Thusha in the chest and passed through the seventh vertebra of her spine, leaving her paralysed.

Thusha Kamaleswaran
Thusha was seen dancing before being shot

The court heard the gunmen were trying to shoot Mr Bryan when Thusha and Mr Selvakumar got caught in the crossfire.

The girl, now six, went into cardiac arrest twice in the wake of the shooting and had to undergo emergency surgery both in the shop and at hospital to keep her alive.

She has only recently been discharged from hospital.

Mr Selvakumar was hit in the head but survived with a piece of bullet remaining in his head.

Judge Stephens said the trio posed "a significant risk to members of the public of serious harm in the future".

'Attack on society'

"You, Grant, were the gunman and the other two your fully supportive lieutenants backing up all your actions to the hilt and giving you the support and encouragement to carry out these terrible deeds," he added.

"Shooting into a shop, a confined space where it was known there were people present, is an attack on society itself by men who saw themselves as outside the law and above the law."

He said the convictions would not have been possible without CCTV and he hoped Thusha could go on to lead as full a life as possible.

Thusha's mother mother Sharmila Kamaleswaran said in a victim impact statement that seeing her daughter, who dreamed of being a dancer, in a hospital bed "took my heart away".

Det Supt Gordon Allison said the only time the men had apologised or shown any remorse was when they were seeking to reduce their prison sentences.

He added: "The images of Thusha dancing happily in Stockwell Food and Wine are images that many of us will struggle to erase from our memories.

"Today, McCalla, Kolawole and Grant will have many years in prison to reflect on the damage they caused to an innocent five-year-old girl and her family but also Roshan and the community that is London as a whole."

A team of detectives who investigated the case will take on the Three Peaks Challenge in September to raise money for the vital care and equipment Thusha now requires.

They have already raised more than £130,000.

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