The Dindoshi Sessions court sentenced a 24-year-old BMM student yesterday for murdering his male friend, who allegedly wanted to have a physical relationship with him, in December 2012. Alexander D’Souza was a final year student of BMM when he murdered Ryan Gomes.

Judge J M Garde sentenced D’Souza to seven years of rigorous imprisonment under Section 304 (2) (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of IPC along with a fine of Rs 10,000. Public Prosecutor Ashok Joshi examined 15 witnesses — including the accused’s brother and parents — while the defence examined six witnesses in the case.

Defence Kaushik Mhatre told court that D’Souza was falsely implicated and also argued that when he (D’Souza) arrived at Gomes’ room, he saw him stabbed and called his (Gomes’) mother, an ambulance, and the police. Ryan Gomes (21), a B Ed student, often went to a chawl in Navagaon, Dahisar (West), to a room bought by his father.

The case dates back to December 24, 2012, when he called D’Souza here at around 6 am. D’Souza is a resident of Laxman Mhatre road at Dahisar. Police said around 7 am they had an altercation, when D’Souza grabbed a kitchen knife and stabbed Gomes in the stomach. Neighbours heard someone yell “bachao bachao!”

The case was based on circumstantial evidence. About three neighbours of Gomes deposed saying they saw the accused and deceased together after the incident, one of them inquired about it. D’Souza allegedly said “Nothing happened”. However the defence argued that D’Souza had asked one of them whether anyone had come there previous night.

Mhatre said D’Souza was convicted under culpable homicide not amounting to murder, as it was after grave and sudden provocation and on the spur of the moment. D’Souza panicked after seeing blood and called up Gomes’ mother who rushed and took her son to Bhagwati Hospital where he was declared dead. MHB police station then arrested D’Souza and booked him under murder charges.

The police investigation had revealed that D’Souza had alleged that Gomes tried to touch him inappropriately, and so he asked him (Gomes) to back off, but the latter wanted a physical relationship with him which led to the step.