Gurkha teen Balhang Limbu orders violent attack on colleague who criticisied his work at Ashford factory
Balhang Limbu worked at SBE Ltd with Pawan
by Keith Hunt
A teenager from the Gurkha community sought violent
retribution as a matter of honour after a work colleague criticised
Electrical engineer Balhang Limbu organised a gang armed with
metal bars to attack Pawan Rai as he left work one evening at a
mobile phone factory in Ashford.
Mr Rai was left unconscious from being struck on the head. He
suffered a fractured bone in his neck and had cuts, bruises and
Now 19-year-old Limbu, of Lynsted Close, Ashford, has been
sentenced to two years' youth custody for unlawful wounding.
Maidstone Crown Court was told Limbu and Mr Rai, both from
Nepal, were working at SBE Ltd on Beaver Industrial Estate, in
Simon Taylor, prosecuting, said Limbu believed he had been
"slighted" by Mr Rai and swore at him in their native language.
Two days later on December 3 last year, there was a further
confrontation when Limbu called the victim more names. Mr Rai
responded by slapping him once to the face.
Limbu told him: "You will see me after work."
"The defendant felt his honour had been challenged and he rectified that after work..." – Kerry Waitt, defending
Mr Rai and his wife were walking home when they saw Limbu
smiling as he walked towards them.
Limbu told two men with him: "That's the guy - beat him."
Others appeared and up to eight men pounced on Mr Rai.
"Two of them had metal bars," said Mr Taylor. "They hit him to
the head. He fell to the ground and was repeatedly kicked. The
attack was broken up by a passer-by and they ran off."
Police went to Limbu's home and found bloodstained clothes in
his wardrobe. It matched the victim’s blood.
Judge Jeremy Carey told Limbu his attempt to get back at Mr Rai
was "wholly misguided and wrong, both morally and because it was
contrary to law".
"Your position is made much worse because you arranged this and
got others to help you," he added. "It is a serious case. The harm
caused was serious.
"You carried on with the attack while weapons were used. It was
a group attack and an ugly incident altogether."
The judge said custody would be hard, but added: "You deserve
Balhang Limbu was
sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court
Kerry Waitt, defending, said Limbu came to the UK from Nepal
just under two years ago and had worked for the firm for about
"There is a cultural element to this," he said. "The Gurkha
community and my client understand if they live in the UK they are
subject to English laws.
Honour is very important to the Gurkha community."
Mr Waitt said Mr Rai had criticised the teenager's standard of
work, but had no authority in the factory. There was tension
between them and the victim belittled Limbu in front of other
"The defendant felt his honour had been challenged and he
rectified that after work," said Mr Waitt. The victim is in his
mid-20s and of bigger build.
"The defendant did not know any weapons would be used. He has
brought shame on his family and the Gurkha community."
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