Five members of a white supremacist group have been sentenced to 12 to 15 years in prison for the racist killing of a 65-year-old Sikh caretaker.

Judge William Stewart called the crime repugnant and brutal. He said it was clearly racially motivated.

"Nirmal Singh Gill is dead simply because he was Indo Canadian. He was attacked because he was different from the accused."

Judge Stewart said he hopes the sentencing sends a message that violent hate crimes will not be tolerated.

Lee Nikkel, 18 and Robert Kluch, 26 were sentenced to 15 years on top of the 18 months they have already served. Stewart said they initiated the attack and did most of the kicking.

The other three, Radoslaw Synderek,24, Daniel Miloszewski, 22, and Nathan LeBlanc,27, were each sentenced to 12 years.

Crown counsel Ron Caryer said he was satisfied with the sentences. He had asked for life sentences for all five men, but said these terms were still higher than those given in most manslaughter cases.

Response from the Sikh community has been positive, and friends of Nirmal Singh Gill say justice has been done.