Four found guilty of Chiswick barman's killing

Manslaughter verdict dismays gay community

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The Police in Chiswick


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Four members of the gang, who went on a late night spree of violence for pleasure, have been convicted of killing Birdcage barman David Morely.

The gang, which comprised mainly of teenagers, attacked strangers at random and even filmed some of their victims on a mobile phone.

The jury heard how David Morley's head was "kicked like a football" by a (then) 14 year old girl during the vicious assault back in October 2004.

In the early hours of 30th October,
Mr Morley, was sitting on a bench on the South Bank with his friend Alastair Whiteside. Mr Whiteside told to the court how they were approached by the gang, who gave a brief acknowledgement before launching the sudden attack. He went on to describe being attacked by a "smiling or laughing" man who "seemed to be getting enjoyment" out of the attack.

Reece Sargeant aged 21, Darren Case aged 18, a youth (who cannot be named) aged 17, and the girl who also cannot being named and is now aged 15, were convicted at the Old Bailey. The four were cleared of murder by being found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.

Eight people were beaten and stamped on in five incidents carried out for "pleasure", the court was told. Barry Lee aged 20 and another 17-year-old were cleared of all charges.

Gay campaigners have warned that the manslaughter verdict given to the gang accused of killing David Morley will “dismay” many according to news website The fact that the gang were cleared of murder is likely to shock London’s gay community, which rallied together and called for more protection after Morley’s killing last year.

Campaigner Peter Tatchell has said these people will be shocked that the beating Morley suffered did not lead to a murder ruling. "Many people in the gay community will be dismayed by these verdicts," he said.

"David's killing resulted from a premeditated attack, where the assailants used pre-arranged code words to launch their assault. They must have known that their extreme violence was likely to cause serious and potentially fatal injuries.” he added.

Case, Sargeant, the girl and the 17-year-old, who were also convicted of conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm, were remanded in custody and will be sentenced on January 23rd.

December 16, 2005