Four convicted of Milton Keynes murders of two teenagers

Dom Ansah and Ben Gillham-Rice, both 17, were killed in ‘ferocious’ ambush at house party

Four people have been convicted of murdering two teenagers who were targeted in a “ferocious” ambush at a house party in Milton Keynes.

Dom Ansah and Ben Gillham-Rice, both 17, were fatally stabbed by masked attackers at the private party on the Emerson Valley estate in October 2019. Two others were stabbed and left with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

Jurors on Tuesday found Charlie Chandler, 22, Clayton Barker, 20, and a 17-year-old and 16-year-old guilty of the murders and two counts of wounding with intent.

They will be joined at sentencing by Earl Bevans, 23, who admitted these charges at the start of the six-week trial.

Earl Bevans, Clayton Barker and Charlie Chandler
Left to right: Earl Bevans, Clayton Barker and Charlie Chandler. Photograph: Thames Valley police

The defendants were all linked to the B3 gang in west Bletchley, and had planned the attack after a tip-off that members of the rival M4 crew were at the birthday celebration, Luton crown court heard.

Jurors were told the group had been armed and had their faces covered when they stormed into the rear of the house in Archford Croft shortly after midnight on 19 October 2019.

“The male partygoers were targeted and the attack upon them was immediate and ferocious,” the prosecutor Charlotte Newell QC said.

“They had little or no time to react and little or no chance of protecting themselves. Within seconds of the arrival of the defendants’ group, one young man was dead, two had been sliced with a knife or knives, causing serious, but mercifully not fatal, injuries and a fourth was running for his life.”

Gillham-Rice was stabbed six times in the living room of the three-bedroom house, suffering a 20cm deep wound that damaged his heart.

He was declared dead at the scene, which was subsequently described as a “blood bath” and a “scene of carnage”.

The prosecution said Ansah ran from the property, but had been chased down and “hacked” in a “frenzied” attack, leaving him with 47 injuries, of which he died in hospital three hours later. “He appeared to have been a particular focus of the defendants’ attention and he did not get away,” Newell said.

“Having run from the house he circled back into the street pursued by two of the defendants, where he slipped, thereby allowing the attackers to gain ground upon him. He was repeatedly sliced and stabbed as he lay on the ground.”

Newell went on to suggest an incident where the 17-year-old defendant was assaulted, stripped and taunted in woodland at the age of 14 may have been a “catalyst” for the attack.

The teenager later named Ansah as one of the perpetrators, the court heard, in an incident that was recorded and widely circulated on social media.

Bevans, of no fixed address, Chandler and Barker, both of Bletchley, Milton Keynes, and the two teenagers, who cannot be named for legal reasons, will return to Luton crown court for sentencing next year.

Chandler, Barker and the two teenagers denied both murders and two counts of wounding with intent.

Outside the court, the senior investigating officer DCI Stuart Bosley told PA Media: “I’m pleased that the jury have seen fit and were persuaded by the weight of the evidence to convict these four young men of the murders of Dom Ansah and Ben Gillham-Rice.”

He added: “This was not a random attack, this was a premeditated, calculated attack in which the offenders drove several miles across Milton Keynes, armed with an array of weapons, face coverings and sought to use the element of surprise and numbers in order to gain the advantage over the young, unsuspecting partygoers.

“They will understandably have a long time in prison to reflect on their actions.”


Yohannes Lowe

The GuardianTramp

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