Life sentences for men who stabbed rival gang members at house party

·2-min read

Three men and two teenagers have been given life sentences for murder after two friends died when rival gangs clashed at a house party.

Dom Ansah and Ben Gillham-Rice were stabbed to death at a house in the Emerson Valley area of Milton Keynes in October 2019.

On Wednesday, in sentencing their killers to life, Mr Justice Spencer described their deaths as "senseless and tragic" and the crime as an "all too familiar background... of rivalry between gangs of young men, and the culture of violence and knives promoted on social media".

Two other people were stabbed and left with serious but not life-threatening injuries.

Luton Crown Court had previously heard the defendants - Earl Bevans, 23, Charlie Chandler, 23, Clayton Barker, 20 - and two previously unnamed youths Ben Potter, 17, and Jamie Chandler, the 17-year-old brother of Charlie - were either members of, or associated with members of, the B3 gang in West Bletchley, named after the MK3 postcode.

They had planned the attack after being told that members of the rival M4 gang were at the party.

The youths can now be named after Mr Justice Spencer lifted reporting restrictions following applications from the PA news agency and BBC.

Ben was stabbed six times in the living room of the three-bedroom house, and Dom was chased outside the property and "hacked", jurors were told, suffering 47 injuries and dying in hospital three hours later.

Barker, Potter and both Chandler brothers had denied both murders and two counts of wounding with intent but were unanimously convicted by the jury after around nine hours of deliberation.

Mr Justice Spencer gave each defendant a life sentence, with minimum terms varying from 22 years in detention to 28 years in prison.

Charlie Chandler, of Fitzwilliam Street, Bletchley, received life with a minimum of 27 years in prison, while Barker, of Surrey Road, Bletchley, was handed a life sentence with a 28-year minimum term.

Bevans, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty at the start of the trial and was given life with a minimum term of 27 years.

Potter, of Chiswick Close, Westcroft, and Chandler, of Woodrush Close, Beanhill, were given a 22-year minimum term in detention.

Ben's father Jason Rice said the sentence meant that a "chapter's over," but he added "no sentence will be enough".