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Young man guilty of murder in violent Thame drugs feud

|News, Violent crime

A young man who launched a violent attack on a teenager as part of an ongoing drugs feud in Thame has been convicted of murder.

Nathan Braim (20) stabbed 19-year-old Joshua Harling through the heart in July last year when their rivalry came to a head in a brief, but vicious, street fight.

He was also found guilty of conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm with intent, along with his close friend, Benjamin Eyles (19), who was with him at the time of the attack. Eyles was also convicted of manslaughter for his involvement.

In the few moments after the attack, Mr Harling was able to reach his car and drive a short distance away before his injuries overcame him and he crashed into parked cars, sending his own car into the air. Onlookers rushed to help, but he died minutes later. 

Senior Crown Prosecutor Kirsty O’Connor for the Crown Prosecution Service said: “Our case was that Braim was prepared to use serious violence towards Joshua Harling when the opportunity arose, with fatal consequences.”

The defendants marked Joshua Harling out for revenge after he was said to have threatened a member of their group at a social gathering in Elms Park several evenings before. They told a friend that they planned to “jump him” and were spotted later that evening searching for Mr Harling while armed with 5ft metal poles.

Unsuccessful in their hunt for him that evening, Braim and Eyles came across Mr Harling again a few nights later while driving through Thame. 

Kirsty explained: “We were able to present CCTV footage and data from car tracking devices to the jury that showed the routes the defendants and the victim took, which brought them together in Cotmore Close that fateful evening.

“Witnesses gave their accounts of the confrontation that followed which resulted in the fatal violence. Though the murder weapon has never been found, evidence in the form of a video on Snapchat and subsequent admissions from other witnesses and Eyles himself helped us prove that it was Braim who owned the knife used to kill Mr Harling. The pair met later that night when Braim handed over the murder weapon to Eyles, who disposed of it.

“This case sadly highlights the terrible consequences of knife crime, and our thoughts are with Joshua’s family who have had to relive their pain through this trial.”

Braim was also convicted on a further charge of having an offensive weapon in a public place.

Notes to editors

  • Kirsty O’Connor is a Senior Crown Prosecutor in CPS Thames and Chiltern
  • Nathan Braim (24/08/2000) was convicted of murder, having an offensive weapon in a public place and conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm with intent on 18 February at Oxford Crown Court
  • Benjamin Eyles (03/07/2001) was convicted of manslaughter and conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm with intent on 18 February at Oxford Crown Court
  • Both defendants will be sentenced on 26 February at Oxford Crown Court.

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