Three men jailed for the death of Morgan Hehir

13/06/2016

Three men have today been sentenced to a total of 38 years in connection with the murder of Morgan Hehir who was stabbed to death in Nuneaton last year whilst celebrating Halloween with friends.

A jury at Warwick Crown Court heard how Mr Hehir and his friends were socialising in fancy dress on 31 October 2015.

The group left The Crew Public House on Queens Road and made their way to a park known locally as Fife Street Park.

Adjacent to the park is a block of flats and on a balcony in one of these flats were the three defendants Declan Gray, 21, Karlton Gray, 18, and Simon Rowbotham, 40.

The defendants shouted racist abuse towards the group who walked away towards Pool Bank Street. Before they could reach their destination, they were attacked.

The group was subjected to punches and kicks from all three defendants. Mr Adam Bunn was stabbed at the top of his leg and Mr Hehir was stabbed in the chest by Declan Gray.

The emergency services were called and they administrated first aid to all of the complainants at the scene, but sadly Mr Hehir later died from his injuries.

Police later identified the three defendants who were arrested.

Throughout the proceedings they denied this incident until the close of the prosecution case when Declan Gray pleaded guilty to the murder and Karlton Gray and Simon Rowbotham to the manslaughter of Morgan Hehir.

Today all the three were sentenced. Declan Gray was sentenced to life imprisonment and told he must serve a minimum of 23 years and nine months.

Karlton Gray and Simon Rowbotham were sentenced to six years and nine months and eight years imprisonment respectively.

Jason Corden-Bowen, Acting District Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said: "Like many young people across the country on Halloween night, Morgan Hehir and his friends were indulging in harmless socialising, however, their night ended in tragedy when they were set upon by the three defendants in an unprovoked and deliberate attack.

"The friends were targeted by the three who, including Declan Gray who was armed with a knife, launched an attack.

"Tragically this ended with Morgan Hehir, who had campaigned against knife violence, being fatally stabbed.

"We recognise that no sentence would adequately address the loss to Mr Hehir's family and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time."