Racist student admits murder

Ukrainian postgraduate student Pavlo Lapshyn, 25, pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to the murder of 82-year-old grandfather Mohammed Saleem in Birmingham in April and plotting to cause explosions near mosques in the West Midlands.

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Grandfather killed by 'gutless coward' Pavlo Lapshyn

Mohammed Saleem's daugher Shazia Khan was among relatives who watched from the public gallery as sentence was passed.

Mr Justice Sweeney read her victim impact statement that said the effect of her father's violent death was "a rollercoaster experience where the ride will never end".

The shock and sadness of the reality is impossible to accept, yet alone accept and move on. We can't move forward, the murder has disabled our minds in every emotional way possible.

Dad did not die of old age or illness, he died because he was stabbed violently in the back by a gutless coward who did not have the courage to face him before he took his life away.

She said that her mother cannot accept the death of her husband of more than 50 years, and is haunted by thoughts that she could have saved him.

Our mother weeps to this day. She was minutes away from him. She could have saved him and she will always blame herself for this.


May: 'Lapshyn's hatred robbed family of a loved one'

Home Secretary Theresa May said:

This is a satisfying outcome to a highly distressing case where Pavlo Lapshyn's hatred has robbed a family of a loved one and attempted to cause fear and division within our communities.

I pay tribute to the work of West Midlands Police in bringing the perpetrator to justice and commend the resilience of communities across the West Midlands who showed such courage in the face of these cowardly attacks.

Lecturer: Pavlo Lapsyhn 'a clever and shy guy'

A Ukrainian lecturer told ITV News Pavlo Lapsyhn, who pleaded guilty to the murder of a Muslim pensioner, was described as a "clever and shy" person and it was a surprise when he was charged with his crimes.

I asked Hugh Humphreys (Executive Deputy Chairman of Delcam where Pavlo Lapshyn was on a work placement) to describe Pavel and his behaviour and he replied that Pavel was quiet and a calm young man with poor English, not a very sociable guy.

Which is not suprising – if one doesn't speak the language well, one can't talk too much. He described him as a clever and a shy guy. This is how it looked.

It was a huge turn-up to everyone that he could be charged with the crime, as he lived so quietly there.

– Victor Laskin from National metallurgical Academy of Ukraine


Pavlo Lapshyn's 'grandmother was a Muslim'

The father of Pavlo Lapshyn, who killed a Muslim pensioner and planted three bombs near mosques, told ITV News his grandmother was a Muslim.

Pavlo Lapshyn's grandmother was a Muslim. Credit: ITV News

Sergey Lapshyn added that the news was a "disaster" to his family: "What is there to say? We've got a disaster in our family. We just hope not everything is attributed to him, at least not the murder. I just can't believe he could murder."

Dad: Lapshyn detonated previous 'chemical experiment'

The father of Pavlo Lapshyn, who murdered a Muslim pensioner and planted three bombs at mosques, told ITV News his son had previously detonated a "chemical experiment" at home in Ukraine.

The father of Pavlo Lapshyn spoke of a previous 'chemical experiment'. Credit: ITV News

Sergey Lapshyn said: "Well, once, when he was home alone, he did some chemical experiments. It was very hot, and the mix detonated. Of course we got back home immediately and none of our neighbours said anything bad.

"They just asked us not to be so loud. We talked to Pavel it about it and it looked like he stopped experimenting."

Lapshyn's father also added that he had concerns over the case: "I've got a lot of questions. First, I don't believe he killed anyone. I just can't believe this. Second, fascism...he never was involved in politics.

"Okay, he may have been stressed, something clicked and he got certain ideas. But then, why did he try to blow up a mosque, not a synagogue? There's no logic. I've got many questions, and not many answers."

Daughter of murdered pensioner 'pities' his killer

The daughter of a Muslim pensioner who was murdered by a Ukrainian student said she pitied her father's killer.

Mohammed Saleem was stabbed by the Ukrainian student. Credit: West Midlands Police

After seeing Pavlo Lapshyn in court, Shazia Khan said: "We just looked at him and we felt pity. He looked pathetic. He looked frightened and stressed."

She added: "We are very pleased with the outcome of today's hearing. It's a relief not to have to sit through a long and tedious trial and listen to horrific details of this violent crime.

"Our dad was a lovely, kind man who left prayers for the last time that night. He did not do anything to deserve this horrific killing other than being a Muslim.

"He was targeted simply because of his faith. His beard and his clothing represented who he was. Pavlo chose to kill him that night with only that intention in mind."

"It's such a pity that he has lost his whole life for some personal hatred or opinion that he has of a particular faith. To kill someone because of what they look like and what they believe in is unforgivable," she added.

  1. Central

Tipton nail bomb survivors describe attack

Survivors of a nail bomb attack in Tipton have described the impact of the explosion.

It happened outside the Kanz-ul-Iman Muslim Welfare Association Central Jamia Mosque on 12 July, the first Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Pavlo Lapshyn has today admitted carrying out the attack.

The mosque's religious leader, Imam Ghulam Rasool, translated their accounts.

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