Family statement following the murder of Ronnie Wrighting

    Zachary Lemonnier, of Combes Crescent, Leadenhall, Milton Keynes, was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 16 years at Luton Crown Court today.

    Robert Williams, aged 18, of Tallis Lane, Browns Wood, Milton Keynes, was convicted of manslaughter yesterday in connection with the same incident. He was acquitted of murder.

    Today he was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment.

    Lemonnier was also convicted of being in possession of a bladed article in a public place, for which he was sentenced to one-and-a-half year’s imprisonment to run concurrently.

    Williams was convicted of possession of an offensive weapon, at the same court hearing, and was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment to run concurrently.

    Both were acquitted of robbery against Mr Wrighting.

    Speaking following the sentencing, Detective Inspector Dejan Avramovic, of Thames Valley Police’s Major Crime unit, said: “This escalation and level of violence was unnecessary and resulted in the loss of Mr Wrighting’s life, leaving his family to deal with the terrible impact of this, and also the imprisonment of two young men whose lives will be forever altered as a result of the callous and brutal decisions they made that night.

    “I would like to commend the witnesses who gave evidence in this case – their information was vital and some of them gave evidence which is distressing in its nature and will have a long-lasting impact upon their lives.

    “Witness to this type of violence are often frightened as a result of what they have seen and fearful of repercussions, but their strength and courage is essential to bring offenders to justice and address the rise in knife violence that has been reported on nationally over the last 12 months.

    “Thames Valley Police is committed to working with witnesses to ensure that they have confidence to come forward and play their role in tackling this menace.

    “Throughout the trial, Ronnie’s family heard graphic details of the assault which resulted in their loved one’s death.

    “They have shown dignity throughout what is an incredibly difficult process and while no conviction or sentence can ever take away the pain that they feel, I hope that this will allow them to move forward knowing that the two men who took Ronnie from them have been held to account for their actions.”

    Ronnie Wrighting’s mother, Zoe O’Neill said “Ronnie’s cruel unjust and unwarranted murder has left myself and Ronnie’s family vulnerable and scared to live life without him. We didn’t even get the chance to say goodbye.That night changed all of our lives forever and we have been in agonising grief ever since. That was the worst night of my life. Not only did I lose a son, his beautiful children lost their dad. Siblings lost their brother. Nieces and Nephews lost an uncle.I would wish that nobody on this earth should experience the unbearable pain and suffering that burying our own child brings.

    “Ronnie will never have the opportunity to walk his daughter down the aisle at her wedding and she won’t have her father there for her growing up. Ronnie will never share the fun of his boy’s stag do’s and sharing stories laughing and joking. Ronnie loved his children and now won’t be able to give his advice and nurture his children. Every day I still expect my phone to ring with Ronnie at the other end or a text from him saying “WHAT YOU UP TO MUM?” “I still imagine him alive somewhere or that he will come walking through the door.

    “I spend every waking hour wondering if certain actions that day could have saved his life. Barely a second passes by that I don’t ask myself “WHY MY RONNIE. Today and for the rest of my life I am heartbroken. Since this happened I find myself crying most days, I cannot eat or sleep. My one single hope is that justice will prevail and that a strict sentence could make a difference and affect the thinking and actions of others, then I can at least live in the knowledge that another mother might not have to endure the excruciating pain and heart ache of losing a son.

    “I want to express my thanks to the Police who acted quickly in arresting and charging the defendants. Although I know this has come to Court quickly this feels like my life has been in slow motion since I lost Ronnie.Whatever the sentence it won’t be as long as mine.

    “I have a lifelong sentence of grieving for the loss of my son Ronnie. I miss my son, my Ronnie.”


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