Four convicted of murdering two 17-year-olds at birthday party in Milton Keynes

·3-min read

Two men in their twenties and two teenage boys have been found guilty of murdering two 17-year-olds in a "ferocious" ambush at a birthday party.

Ben Gillham-Rice was fatally stabbed at a house in Emerson Valley, Milton Keynes, while the second victim Dom Ansah ran from the property and suffered a "frenzied" attack nearby, later dying in hospital.

Two other people were also assaulted and were left with serious, but non-life threatening, injuries in the incident on 19 October last year.

Charlie Chandler, 22, Clayton Barker, 20, a 17-year-old and a 16-year-old all denied both murders and two counts of wounding with intent.

All four were convicted by the jury at Luton Crown Court on Tuesday.

The group will be sentenced alongside a fifth defendant, 23-year-old Earl Bevans, who admitted two counts of murder and both counts of wounding with intent at the start of the trial.

In the trial, which lasted six weeks, the jury heard the defendants were members of, or associated with, the B3 gang in West Bletchley, named after the MK3 postcode.

The court was told they had planned the attack after being told that members of the rival M4 gang were at the party.

Charlotte Newell QC, prosecuting, said the group stormed into the back of the property in Archford Croft, while armed and with their faces covered just after midnight.

She said: "The male partygoers were targeted and the attack upon them was immediate and ferocious.

"They had little or no time to react and little or no chance of protecting themselves.

"Within seconds of the arrival of the defendants' group, one young man was dead, two had been sliced with a knife or knives, causing serious, but mercifully not fatal, injuries, and a fourth was running for his life."

Mr Gillham-Rice was stabbed six times in the living room of the house, while Mr Ansah was subjected to a "frenzied" attack after running from the property, according to the prosecutor.

The court was shown images of the living room where Mr Gillham-Rice had been stabbed and killed and was described as a "bloodbath" and a "scene of carnage".

He had suffered a 7.9 inch (20cm) deep wound which damaged his heart, a post-mortem examination showed.

Mr Ansah died in hospital three hours after being chased down and "hacked", suffering 47 injuries, jurors were told.

Dashcam footage, which was played to the jury, showed the defendants, including a man said to be Barker holding a machete, outside the property and later chasing Mr Ansah.

Ms Newell suggested that an incident a few years ago when the 17-year-old defendant, then 14, was assaulted, stripped and taunted in woodland could have been a "catalyst" for the attack.

The teenager later named Mr Ansah as one of the perpetrators in the incident that was filmed and shared on social media.

Bevans, of no fixed address, Chandler and Barker, both of Bletchley, Milton Keynes, and the two unnamed teenagers will return to Luton Crown Court for sentencing on 5 and 6 January.

Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Bosley said after the guilty verdicts: "This was not a random attack.

"This was a premeditated, calculated attack in which the offenders drove several miles across Milton Keynes, armed with an array of weapons, face coverings and sought to use the element of surprise and numbers in order to gain the advantage over the young, unsuspecting partygoers."