According to Satpal Ram, he and two friends visited a restaurant in November 1986. While there, an altercation broke out among Ram and his two friends and another group of six people also in the restaurant. The argument, which was initially over Asian music being played on the restaurant’s radio system, became a physical fight. Ram said that he stabbed one of the party of six, Clarke Pearce, in self-defense after Pearce attacked him with a broken bottle. Pearce was taken to hospital with knife wounds and later died. Consequently, Satpal Ram was arrested for murder and convicted in 1987.
Later debate and controversy arose among the British media when it was alleged that his barrister did not meet with him and only saw him for about forty minutes before the trial. The jury was claimed to have also missed vital evidence because no interpreter was provided to translate for a Bengali-speaking waiter who had been present at the incident. It is also alleged that the judge was to have said he would interpret but also that he couldn’t speak the Bengali language.
Artists such as Asian Dub Foundation have championed Ram’s cause.
via Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satpal_Ram
- A farcical trial and 13 years of racist abuse in jail – the story of Satpal Ram: https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2000/jan/30/race.world2
- Satpal Ram at Murder UK: http://www.murderuk.com/one_off_satpal_ram.html
- “Attacked for being a Paki”: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/comment-attacked-for-being-a-paki-in-jail-for-murder-it-doesnt-add-up-1129448.html
- I’ll fight to clear my name: http://www.nme.com/news/music/asian-dub-foundation-9-1373878