Two jailed for murder of Bijan Ebrahimi

28/11/2013

Lee James, 24 and Steven Norley, 25, both from Brislington, Bristol, have today been sentenced for their role in the murder of Bijan Ebrahimi.

Mr Ebrahimi died after being violently assaulted near his home in Brislington, Bristol on 14 July. His body was set on fire after he died.

Tracy Easton, CPS Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor said: "Bijan Ebrahimi was subjected to a vicious and brutal attack which resulted in his death. Lee James and Stephen Norley pleaded guilty at an early stage for the parts they played in his murder.

"This type of violent crime is corrosive to communities and will not be tolerated. The CPS works closely with Avon and Somerset police and will always prosecute where there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to do so.

"The sentences passed today reflect the severity of the crime and, while nothing will ever compensate Mr Ebrahimi's family for their loss, I hope the conclusion of this case will at least bring them a degree of closure."

James was sentenced to life with a requirement to serve at least 18 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to murder at an earlier court appearance. His accomplice Steven Norley was handed a four year sentence, to serve two years in custody for assisting an offender.

The murder investigation was overseen by Detective Chief Inspector Rachel Williams. She said: "Today our sympathy goes to Mr Ebrahimi's family and friends as they continue to adjust to life without him.

"Mr Ebrahimi was killed in a violent and unprovoked attack and we worked quickly to identify the suspects and bring them to justice.

"Following a swift but detailed investigation, and with support from the Crown Prosecution Service, we were able to build a compelling case against the two suspects. As a result both pleaded guilty, sparing Mr Ebrahimi's family the trauma of sitting through a painful and lengthy court case.

"Today Lee James has been sentenced to life with a requirement to serve at least 18 years in prison for murder and Stephen Norley faces four years in prison for assisting an offender.

"Mr Ebrahimi's murder was a tragedy but the actions of these two men do not represent the wider community of Bristol."

The actions of the police in the days leading to circumstances leading to Mr Ebrahimi's death are being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). Three police officers have been served with gross misconduct notices and are currently suspended while a further two have been served with misconduct notices but remain at work. A third officer has subsequently had his misconduct notice rescinded.

Although the criminal investigation has now concluded the IPCC investigation continues and we await their report.