Life sentences for Michael Sexton and Richard Smith for the murder of Keith Soons

22/12/2011

Michael Andrew Sexton, 29, and Richard John Smith, 27, both from Cheltenham, were today handed life sentences at Bristol Crown Court for the murder of Keith Soons in February this year. Sexton will serve a minimum of 25 years imprisonment and Smith a minimum of 28 years.

Commenting on the case, CPS District Crown Prosecutor Rachael Scott said: "This was a difficult charging decision as we only had limited evidence at the beginning of the case against each defendant. Cases are kept under review, and as this case progressed further evidence was passed to the CPS which enabled us to convince the jury of their guilt.

"These men brought to an end the life of a man who was merely trying to retrieve the mobile phone they had stolen from him.

"Furthermore Smith embroiled his girlfriend, Carolanne Williams into the case by persuading her provide him with a false alibi. She was found guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice on 20 May. Her sentencing has been adjourned to February 2012 pending pre-sentence reports.

"Throughout the case we worked closely with Gloucestershire Constabulary and it is testament to the hard work of the whole prosecution team that the jury returned the guilty verdicts.

"The sentences they received today reflects the severity of their crimes and shows that the Criminal Justice System takes crimes of this nature very seriously.

"Last week, I authorised Gloucestershire Constabulary to charge Sadie Smith, 20, and Charlie Flook, 18, with witness intimidation for posting threatening messages on Facebook in relation to this case. They appeared on 17 December in Cheltenham Magistrates court and were remanded in custody. They will next appear in Stroud Magistrates Court on 18 January."