A street gangster has been jailed for 29 years after hacking a rival to death with an axe during a gang fight in Mitcham car park.

Prashad Sothalingam, of Edgehill Road in Mitcham, murdered 26-year-old Neel Croos with a fatal axe blow to the head during an assault which involved at least 14 men in November 2015.

At the sentencing at the Old Bailey today, (June 14), the judge said: "the carrying of swords, machetes, axes and knives by feuding criminal gangs would not be tolerated".

Sothalingham aka "Bullet" was one of several young men from the Tamil community who had been at a birthday party on the fifth floor of a Morrisons car park in Mitcham, when violence erupted.

When they spotted a rival faction arrive, they attacked them with an array of weapons including swords and hatchets.

Sothalingham was sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum of 29 years for murder and concurrent sentences of 14 and three years for wounding with intent and violent disorder.

He was found guilty of the two serious charges yesterday, June 13. He was convicted of violent disorder at a previous trial in August 2016.

The court heard the fight involved swords, machetes and socks stuffed with snooker balls as well as axes.

One man had his fingers cut off with a machete as he tried to protect his head with his hands.

Three other men were also convicted during the complicated trial, the second to find charges against some of the attackers.

Sugan Selvarajan, from Rotherham, was jailed for a total of 14 years for wounding with intent and violent disorder.

Sivakaran Ockersz of Heathdene Road, Mitcham, was jailed for 31 months for violent disorder and an unrelated ATM fraud while Visuparathan Dayaparan, of Phipps Bridge Road, Mitcham, who was also convicted of violent disorder, received 27 months behind bars.

London CPS reviewing lawyer Elaine Cousins said: “These convictions bring to an end a complex and lengthy prosecution. The judge’s comments referred to the background of organised ATM fraud and the gang culture which led in this case to the violent death of Justin Neel Croos, and a fractured skull and serious hand injury to two other victims.

“The sentence of Sothalingham to life with a minimum term of 29 years for murder and 14 years concurrent for wounding reflects the ongoing and vicious gang violence which took place that night.

The court heard the killing was the result of a "power struggle" within the Tooting Boys gang between the Elders and Sothalingam's group, the Youngers.

The victims' group, also armed, had been hunted down by Sothalingam's group after they arrived at the Sibthorpe Road car park.

One witness described someone shout aggressively "I am going to f*** you up" and "We run this" as bottles were thrown.

He also heard someone say in Tamil "There they are ... go get them", jurors were told.

The witness gave the damning evidence that Sothalingam, who he had previously played football with, swung the axe at the victim, hitting him in the head.

Sothalingam, 26; Ockersz aka Siva, 19; Selvarajan, 33; and Dayaparan aka Visu, 24, had denied the charges.