Two men and two teenagers have today (22/12) been convicted of double murder and two counts of causing grievous bodily harm with intent following a trial at Luton Crown Court.
A fifth man had earlier pleaded guilty to all four counts at the beginning of the trial, which started on Monday 2 November.
Charlie Chandler, aged 22, of Fitzwilliam Street, Bletchley and Clayton Barker, aged 20, of Surrey Road, Bletchley, were both found guilty by unanimous jury verdict of two counts of murder and two counts of GBH with intent.
A 17-year-old boy from Westcroft, Milton Keynes, and a 16-year-old boy from Beanhill, Milton Keynes, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were also found guilty of all counts.
Earl Bevans, aged 23, of no fixed abode, admitted all of the offences on the first day of the trial.
Childhood friends Dom Ansah and Ben Gillham-Rice were attacked at a birthday party on 19 October 2019, sustaining fatal stab wounds, while two other people, a 25-year-old man and an 18-year-old man, who was 17 at the time, suffered stab wounds.
Dom and Ben were both 17-years-old and had been attending a party at Archford Croft, Emerson Valley, Milton Keynes, when they were confronted by the group in a sudden, brazen, and frenzied knife attack.
Senior Investigating Officer Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Bosley, of Thames Valley Police’s Major Crime Unit, said: “This was an utterly horrific attack that left two young men dead and another two with serious injuries.
“It was a targeted, pre-meditated and calculated attack, which has resulted in two families losing a cherished loved one, and another two families having to deal with the effects that this shocking incident has had on them.
“Ben and Dom were attending what should have been a celebration of a birthday. They could have had no idea that they were to be targeted in such a horrific way that night.
“The injuries that they both sustained were horrendous, and the families of both of these childhood friends have had to endure many months of anguish, not only throughout the investigation, but also through the subsequent and delayed court trial due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I would like to express my thanks to the families of all of the victims for their patience and support of this harrowing prosecution.
“They will all have had to listen to evidence that led to this incident, and no family should have to go through what they have endured over the last 14 months. They have conducted themselves with dignity throughout this trial.
“I would also like to pay tribute to the witnesses who gave evidence in this case. Many of them were young and understandably nervous about giving evidence. They all showed remarkable bravery and can be satisfied they have played their part in securing justice.
“The offenders in this case are all as culpable as one another under joint enterprise.
“This was without a doubt a callous act, and as a result of their dreadful actions on 19 October, they will all receive substantial sentences.
“No amount of time behind bars will serve as solace to the families of Ben and Dom, but I do hope that in time they will be able to come to terms what has happened and take some satisfaction that justice has been served.
“To the two victims who survived this attack, I hope that they will be able to move on in their lives and put this dreadful incident behind them.
“I know that will not be easy for them to do, but again, I would like to thank them both for their patience and support while this investigation was conducted.
“Every victim who loses their life to serious violence or knife crime has a family, and that family is left without a son or daughter, a father or mother, an uncle or auntie, a nephew or niece.
“Serious violence and knife crime causes pain and suffering and Thames Valley Police have a dedicated Violence Reduction Unit dedicated in its mission to tackle it via prevention, intervention and enforcement.
“We will continue to work tirelessly with partners, including our communities, to tackle knife crime and stamp out this scourge on our society.”
Charlie Chandler, Clayton Barker, Earl Bevans, and the two teenagers will all be sentenced on 6 January 2021 at Luton Crown Court.
© MKFM News 2020