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Nitin Garg murder a result of immaturity: lawyer

Press Trust Of India
Jun 06, 2011 at 12:12pm IST

Melbourne: The lawyer of a 16-year-old boy, who has pleaded guilty to killing Indian student Nitin Garg, told a court that the murder was a result of immaturity of his client believed to be the youngest person in Victorian state of Australia to commit the crime.

At a plea hearing in the Victorian Supreme Court, Defence lawyer Marcus Dempsey told the Supreme Court, "At 15 and a half it seems (he) is one of the youngest people in this state to commit the offence of felony murder."

He said his client comes from a "much loved" background.

Nitin Garg murder a result of immaturity: lawyer

The defence lawyer said the murder was unintentional and was a result of a spontaneous attempted robbery.

The lawyer said that despite phone intercepts recording the boy boasting about the killing, there was remorse and the unintentional murder was a result of his immaturity and a spontaneous attempted robbery of Nitin Garg's mobile phone.

Prosecutors have told the court that he discussed a potential alibi with his parents before his arrest.

Justice Paul Coughlan described the case as "desperately sad." He will be sentenced at a later date.

"It's a desperately sad case from everyone's point of view," Justice Paul Coghlan said adding, "How a young man of this background finds himself here is just sad really."

The boy, whose identity has not been revealed, pleaded guilty to murder in April and is facing a maximum sentence of life in prison.

He stabbed the 21-year-old Garg as he walked to work through a park in Yarraville in January last year.

Garg's murder sparked outrage in India.

Justice Coghlan said he understood the boy would deny the crime when questioned by police.

"He's a kid, he did what any of us would have done (at his age)...I grew up in a very, very helpful and loving family but I wasn't necessarily always just a good boy."

Prosecutor Amanda Forrester said there is "no evidence of any racial motivation in this crime".

"This was a pointless act of violence...the offender went out of his house armed with a very serious weapon."

Justice Coghlan said the propensity of young people to carry knives was a significant concern.

"If he didn't have the knife it wouldn't have occurred."

"Sentencing you is not going to be easy, I must say," Justice Coghlan said.

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