News State Victoria Ballarat Curry House chef jailed for 23 years over drunk customer’s murder

Ballarat Curry House chef jailed for 23 years over drunk customer’s murder

Nepalese chef murder Ballarat Curry House
There were no other customers in the restaurant at the time of the murder. Photo: ABC News: Charlotte King
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A Nepalese chef who murdered a drunk customer at a Ballarat restaurant after he became abusive has been sentenced to 23 years jail, and will likely be deported on his release.

Hari Dhakal, 50, stabbed Abdullah Siddiqi to death in the kitchen of the Ballarat Curry House in October 2016.

The 38-year-old had brought a bottle of bourbon with him and was eating alone in the empty restaurant when he approached the counter to ask the waitress for more food.

But the court heard Dhakal came out from the kitchen and told Mr Siddiqi he had had too much drink.

It caused Mr Siddiqi to lose his temper and abuse Dhakal.

The court heard he began pushing Dhakal, causing the waitress to become distressed and urge the men to stop fighting.

The argument ended in the kitchen when Dhakal used a knife to stab Mr Siddiqi 17 times.

Afterwards he wrapped the knife in a plastic bag and walked to the police station, where he told the junior constable on duty “I’ve killed someone”.

Dhakal was found guilty of murder by a jury, which rejected his claim he acted in self-defence.

In sentencing, Victorian Supreme Court Justice Lex Lasry said the threat Mr Siddiqi posed was totally out of proportion with the action Dhakal took.

“You were sober and he was intoxicated,” Justice Lasry said.

“You were entitled to be offended by what he said… however your actions in stabbing him to death went far beyond anything done to you by Mr Siddiqi.

“You lost control of your temper inflicting a large amount of wounds.”

The court heard Dhakal was remorseful and the murder had been a spontaneous act of violence after significant provocation.

Dhakal will serve a minimum 17 years jail.