The four-year sentence handed to a teenager who killed a shopkeeper was simply not long enough, according to the senior detective who led the investigation.
Mr Justice Jeremy Stuart-Smith jailed the boy, who had been on bail at the time of the attack despite a sting of previous convictions, for only four years – despite warning he posed a “significant risk” to the public.
The killer, who turns 17 later this month, caught Vijaykumar Patel, 49, with a single blow during an “unprovoked attack” in January this year.
Speaking after the sentencing hearing at the Old Bailey, Detective Chief Inspector Luke Marks said: “We were hoping the sentence would be perhaps more than it was.
“However, the Judge has set out his reasons for why he believed that was to be the sentence that was passed down.
“He’s got previous convictions for violence, he’s demonstrated with this offence he will react extremely aggressively to situations.
“I would agree with the Judge he does pose a significant risk to members of the public.”
Sentencing the boy, the judge said: “I accept that you didn’t go to the shop looking for trouble.
“I also accept that although you were offensive to the shop manager as you left you didn’t at that stage have any intention of taking things further.
“When you were outside the shop and the manager and Mr Patel came out I accept that the manager was ‘in your face’ – not unreasonably given his understandable concerns.
“Mr Patel was well away from you and was not doing anything, either to you or generally, that might affect you.
“The CCTV shows he was simply standing with his hands in his pockets doing nothing.”
He added: “What happened next was that you deliberately moved to your left and launched yourself at Mr Patel, knocking him off his feet and to the ground.
“He was completely defenceless and didn’t move before you struck him.
“The force of your attack is clearly shown on the CCTV.
“The assault was completely unprovoked and was directed at a victim was defenceless.”
The Judge said the boy had a “terrible record”, including two incidents of being in possession of an offensive weapon and another for attacking a teacher.
He said a pre-sentence report “concludes there is a high risk of reoffending.”
DCI Marks added: “This case and the sentence today demonstrates that the Met Police is committed to ensuring any acts of violence like this are perused relentlessly and we will invest time and resources to solve these types of offence.
“It was a violent act that was completely unprovoked, Mr Patel did absolutely nothing to warrant being attacked in that way.”