TWO teenagers from Hayes End were today (6) found guilty of murdering an innocent 16-year-old boy they mistakenly thought belonged to a rival gang in Southall.

Vanushan Balakrishnan, 18, of Waylands, and Ilyas Suleiman, 18, of St Jeromes Grove, murdered Rishmeet Singh, an Old Bailey jury decided.

They will be sentenced at the same court on Friday, April 28.

Det Insp Laura Semple said: “Rishmeet had just spent an enjoyable evening with his friends and was making the short walk home when he was callously chased down and knifed to death.

“Between them, they stabbed him 15 times while he was defenceless on the floor. There is never an excuse to murder someone in cold blood, but this case is made even more tragic by the fact that Rishmeet was wrongly targeted by his attackers.

“[He] was simply in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

Rishmeet came to the UK in 2019 from Afghanistan with his mother and grandmother to seek asylum. His father was killed by the Taliban six months prior to that, and shortly after they tried to kidnap Rishmeet, forcing the family to flee.

In a statement, Rishmeet’s mother, Gulinder, said: “No words could ever explain or put into context how I have felt since Rishmeet was taken from us.

“I will not see him grow up into a young man. I will not see him leave college. I will not see him fulfil his aspirations.”

Rishmeet had just left his friends in the park in Southall on a November evening in 2021 when he saw two unknown men running towards him.

He ran down Raleigh Road, Southall, where he tripped and fell. One of his pursuers then stabbed him at least five times in the back. Seconds later, the second male also began to stab Rishmeet – at least 10 times.

His attackers then fled, leaving his bloodied and injured body on the ground.