An Indian-origin man has been handed four life imprisonment sentences, to be served concurrently with a minimum term of 22 years and six months, after he was found guilty of four counts of attempted murder in the UK city of Leicester.
Carlos Vinodchandra Racitalal, 33, was convicted following four separate incidents, including one of which included a 10-year-old boy being stabbed, after a trial at Leicester Crown Court last week.
He was also found guilty of three counts of possession of a bladed article.
“This was an extremely complex investigation with very distressing circumstances,” said Detective Inspector Tim Lindley of the Leicestershire Police force.
“Racitalal is an extremely dangerous man who had no concern, regard, or remorse for any of his victims, who ranged from young children to an elderly man. Racitalal carried out his attacks with weapons including knives and a car, before then running away or driving off from the scene,” he said, as he praised the “dedication and commitment” of his officers, who had worked tirelessly around the clock to gather the evidence and find the person responsible.
The judge presiding over the case also commended the officers involved in the police investigation during the sentencing hearing on Friday.
"What has struck me about this case: had there not been such a thorough and prompt police investigation, particularly regarding the work done in relation to the CCTV, the defendant would most likely still be at large – as his victims were unable to identify their attacker. In all likelihood the thoroughness of the police work on the CCTV is likely the basis upon which the jury have convicted," said Justice Thomas Linden.
All the incidents in question took place in Leicester during January this year.
Three of the offences involved victims being stabbed – the 10-year-old boy, a woman in her 30s and a man in his 70s, while one of the incidents involved a five-year-old girl being hit with a car.
The victims all required hospital treatment before being discharged later.
A large-scale investigation was launched soon after the attack on the boy, including speaking with the victim and the victim’s family, carrying out CCTV analysis, forensic examination, house-to-house enquiries and issuing a public appeal for information.
During these enquiries, the suspect of the offence was further linked to two other incidents, which involved similar circumstances.
With the links being established and following additional CCTV analysis, an image of the defendant was released to the public on January 20 as part of a further public appeal. This led to Racitalal identifying himself at the local police station a few hours later, where he was arrested.
Enquiries after the arrest further linked him to a fourth incident.
During the interview following his arrest, Racitalal denied being responsible for any of the incidents, denied being in contact with any of the victims and denied being in possession of a knife.
A search was carried out in his bedroom which led to a large kitchen knife, which was wrapped in a pillowcase, being found in the bed while a yellow handled Stanley-style knife was also found in a box on the bed.
Racitalal was charged with all the offences and remanded into custody until a nine-day trial and sentencing last week.
During the course of his trial for attempted murder, the court was told that there seemed to be no apparent reason behind these unprovoked attacks.