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Five guilty of Milton Keynes birthday party murders

|News, Violent crime

Five young men who carried out a vicious knife attack at a birthday party in Milton Keynes have today been convicted of killing two teenage partygoers and seriously injuring two others.

In October 2019, 20-year-old Clayton Barker, 22-year-old Charlie Chandler, 23-year-old Earl Bevans and two youths aged 16 and 17 made their way to the party, carrying masks and weapons, after a tip-off that rival gang members would be there.

After getting out of a taxi, the defendants crept around to the back of the house where the party was taking place and burst in with their faces covered and brandishing weapons including a large machete or Rambo knife.

They immediately targeted rival gang members in what is believed to have been a revenge attack for previous humiliating incidents involving the two youth defendants.

Within moments, 17-year-old Ben Gillham-Rice was fatally stabbed, and two others were seriously injured. The defendants chased 17-year-old Dom Ansah outside and when he tripped and fell, they set on him with their knives. The teenager died shortly afterwards in hospital.

Senior Crown Prosecutor Rebecca Waller for the Crown Prosecution Service said: “It is tragic that two young men lost their lives as a result of this vicious attack which has destroyed the boys’ families and had a lasting impact on them and those that witnessed it.”

Rebecca explained: “Our case was that the defendants were jointly responsible for the deaths of the teenagers and the wounding of their friends, whatever their role in the attack. They had set off together to the party with masks and knives clearly intending to kill or cause someone serious harm once they got there.

“Their actions were witnessed by partygoers who knew and recognised them, and by neighbours who saw the attack unfold on their doorsteps; and their evidence was supported by taxi dashcam footage, CCTV and forensics, as well as admissions by some of the defendants themselves.”

The two youth defendants admitted their involvement to one of their girlfriends immediately after the attack. The 17-year-old also bragged to friends about what the gang had done and boasted about the stabbings in a rap which was later recovered from the phone of one of his friends. Clayton Barker wrote about the events on the night of the attack in a diary which was seized on his arrest.

After a seven-week trial at Luton Crown Court, Clayton Barker, Charlie Chandler and two youth defendants have all been found guilty of two counts of murder and two of wounding with intent.

Earl Bevans pleaded guilty to both murder charges and two charges of wounding with intent at the start of the trial in early November.

Notes to editors

  • Rebecca Waller is a Senior Crown Prosecutor in CPS Thames and Chiltern
  • Clayton Barker (DOB 23 March 2000) was convicted of two charges of murder and two charges of wounding with intent at Luton Crown Court 
  • Charlie Chandler (DOB 3 January 1998) was convicted of two charges of murder and two charges of wounding with intent at Luton Crown Court 
  • A 17-year-old boy (DOB 14 August 2003) was convicted of two charges of murder and two charges of wounding with intent at Luton Crown Court 
  • A 16-year-old boy (DOB 30 December 2003) was convicted of two charges of murder and two charges of wounding with intent at Luton Crown Court 
  • Earl Bevans (DOB 14 April 1997) pleaded guilty to two charges of murder and two charges of wounding with intent at the start of the trial.
  • All defendants will be sentenced on 5 January at Luton Crown Court.

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