'Happy slapping' killers jailed


by ODN


Two teenage members of a "happy slapping" gang have been detained for the death of a 67-year-old man as he walked home from a mosque with his three-year-old granddaughter.

Ekram Haque was attacked by Leon Elcock, 16, and Hamza Lyzai, 15, in Tooting, south London.

Mr Haque cracked his head after being struck to the ground, suffering irreparable brain damage, and died a week after the assault last August.

Elcock and Lyzai, both from Tooting, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and also admitted their parts in other assaults in which, the court heard, they had "targeted people for fun".

Mr Haque's death was the culmination of a series of "happy slapping" incidents which were recorded on mobile phone footage and showed youths running off and laughing afterwards.

Elcock was locked up for four and a half years and Lyzai for three and a half years by Old Bailey judge Martin Stephens.

The judge told Mr Haque's killers: "As a result of your so-called bit of fun he was deprived of a full and contented life and his family of a devoted, inspiring and beloved father and grandfather."

He lifted restrictions on naming the pair as a warning to others "who may be tempted to indulge in such appalling behaviour".

A third youth, aged 15, who cannot be named, was locked up for six months after admitting, with Elcock, to actual bodily harm against a couple in their 70s.