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Four sentenced in Conduit Street murder case

Three men and a woman have been sentenced following the death of an innocent man who was stabbed while intervening in a fight in Leicester.

Sidney Anthony Palmer, known to his family and friends as ‘Sid’, sustained a single stab wound and died shortly after in hospital on the evening of Saturday 30 September last year.

Leicester Time: Four sentenced in Conduit Street murder case
Picture: Pukaar News

At around 6.15pm, there was an altercation with Nathan Pritchard and another man in Conduit Street, Leicester.

Shortly after, outside a store on London Road, Pritchard was punched by an unknown man who was believed to be acting on behalf of the man involved in the earlier altercation.

At around 7pm Pritchard, again in Conduit Street, challenged the first man in the altercation and called Michael Boleyn, who threatened the man.

Victor-Eduard Raja then received a call from Boleyn and made his way to the scene.

The prosecution believed he was instructed by Pritchard to attack an associate of the person he had been arguing with. Raja, on arriving to the location, saw the man and a fight started with Raja violently punching him.

Several people intervened – one of which was Sidney Palmer – who was not involved at all in the wider incident and tried to act as a peacemaker attempting to pull Raja away.

CCTV showed Raja arming himself with a knife he was carrying and swinging towards Sidney but missed.

Immediately repeating this action, he struck Sidney to the chest with a single stab wound.

All the defendants quickly left the scene as Sidney was taken to hospital where sadly he died a short time later.

A post-mortem examination later confirmed he died from the stab wound which had passed through his heart and lung.

A murder investigation promptly commenced, and officers were able to track that Raja had taken a taxi and was dropped off on Blackbird Road.

Raja was later picked up by his mother, Diana Bodrug, who drove him to Yorkshire and assisted in booking him into accommodation under false details and bought him a new phone SIM card.

Through extensive enquiries, Raja was traced to an address and arrested by armed officers in the early hours of Thursday 5 October.

After being interviewed by detectives, where he made no comment to questions asked, 25-year-old Raja, of no fixed address, was charged with murder and remanded into custody.

Michael Boleyn, 31, of Great Central Way, Leicester and Nathan Pritchard, 29, of Conduit Street were charged in the days after Sidney’s death with conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm with intent.

Following further investigation work and consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, they were charged with further offences. Prichard was charged with murder while Boleyn was charged with manslaughter.

Diana Bodrug, 49, of Melton Road, Syston was charged with assisting an offender.

Following a trial at Leicester Crown Court, which concluded on Wednesday 5 June, the defendants were found guilty as follows:

 – Raja was found guilty of murder and possession of a bladed/pointed article in a public place
 – Boleyn was found guilty of manslaughter

At the beginning of the trial, Pritchard pleaded guilty to manslaughter and Bodrug pleaded guilty to assisting an offender.

At the same court today (Monday 24 June), Raja was sentenced to life imprisonment and ordered to serve a minimum of 25 years and six months before he is considered eligible for parole.

Raja’s sentence also takes into consideration previous offences of possession of drugs and false identity documents.

Boleyn was sentenced to eight years in prison and Prichard was sentenced to six years in prison

Bodrug was sentenced to two years and six months in prison.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Sinski, who was the senior investigating officer, said: “This was a tragic loss of life of a popular man, who was only trying to act as a peacemaker and stop the initial fight taking place.

“Sidney was a well known and loved man and his death has understandably had a devastating effect on his family and friends.

“CCTV of the incident clearly shows Raja swing his arm holding a knife, more than once at Sidney. This shows Raja’s obvious intent to stab the person pulling him away.”

Following the sentencing, Leanne Palmer, Sid’s daughter said: “The impact the murder of my dad has had on my life is unreal.  Not only has my dad been taken away so has a part of me. 

“I’ve always been a daddy’s girl even when I didn’t see him for them years.  He finally came back to Leicester, and I was so happy, but quickly that happiness turned to sadness when the news of what happened was broken to me.  My world fell apart. 

“The last time I spoke to my dad we had an argument; this was just days before he was killed, and we never got chance to make up properly.  That opportunity has been taken away because of their actions and the choice to carry a knife.

“My partner and children have to watch me break down daily because all I want is my dad back.  Knowing I will never hear my dad’s voice again, see his face or the fact that my dad will never see his grandchildren is having a massive impact on my life and mental health and will do for years to come.”