Five men sentenced to 58 years imprisonment for the death of Jesse Richards

18/04/2012

Five men were today sentenced to a total of 58 and a half years imprisonment at Birmingham Crown Court in connection to the death of Jesse Richards in July 2009.

  •  Kevin Huston pleaded guilty to manslaughter and obstructing a coroner and was sentenced to a total of 19 years;
  • James Doe pleaded guilty to manslaughter and blackmail and he was sentenced to a total of 18 and half years;
  • Mathew Taylor was convicted after trial of manslaughter and he was sentenced to 13 years;
  • Joseph Doe pleaded guilty to assisting an offender in the commission of manslaughter and was sentenced to 4 years; and
  • David Butler pleaded guilty of obstructing a coroner and was sentenced to 4 years.

Neil Fielding, Special Casework Lawyer for the West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Complex Casework Unit, said:

"This case involving serious organised crime, drugs dealing and the enforcement of 'debts' arising from those activities has been one of the most challenging and complex Ive dealt with in my CPS career so far.

"From what is known Jesse Richards had been involved in the importation of a shipment of cannabis with a street value in excess of £1 million. It is thought that this was arranged to settle debts owed. Unfortunately, the arrangements went wrong which resulted in Jesse Richards being severely beaten causing injuries that led to his death. His body has never been recovered.

"The case was further complicated by the initial reluctance of witnesses to come forward through a mixture fear and unwillingness to become involved with the Police and the judicial process. In order to tackle these issues it was necessary to seek witness anonymity orders in respect of multiple witnesses. This also entailed substantial work in providing information to the defence to ensure that the defendants could have a fair trial despite not knowing the identities of these witnesses.

"The success of the case can be put down to many factors but close teamwork between the CPS and the police was in my view key to bringing these offenders to justice."