A former sacristan was sentenced to life by a court here on Monday for killing a senior Catholic priest and rector of a famous Christian pilgrim center at nearby Malayattoor two years ago, Deccan Herald reported.
According to media reports, Ernakulam Principal Sessions and District Judge Dr Kauser Edappagath said in the order, "The sacristan is sentenced to undergo imprisonment for life for the offence punishable under Section 302 of IPC and has to pay a fine of Rs 1 lakh."
The court also said that if he fails to pay the fine amount, he shall suffer simple imprisonment for one year.
Fr Xavier Thelakkat, the former sacristan of the parish, was stabbed to death by Johnny. The incident took place on March 1, 2018, when the 52-year-old priest was climbing the Kurisumudy in Malayattoor, a holy place near here believed to have visited by St Thomas.
According to Christian beliefs, St Thomas was one of the Apostles of Jesus Christ. St Thomas had visited Kurisumudy after landing at Kodungalloor in AD 52.
Johnny, who was removed from the post of sacristan for dereliction of duty, had attacked the priest with a sharp-edged weapon.
The priest who suffered injuries on his left thigh had died as he was taken to a private hospital in nearby Angamaly. Johnny, who went absconding soon after the incident, was nabbed by the police from a forest near the Church. Kurisumudy is a hill at Malayattoor.