Duo Convicted Of Murdering Leicester Jeweller
8 August 2018, 17:20
Two men have been convicted of murdering a jeweller who was kidnapped and tortured in a botched robbery in Leicester.
Charles Mcauley and Thomas Jervis had denied killing 74-year-old Ramniklal Jogiya, but a jury at Birmingham Crown Court unanimously convicted the men on the grounds of joint enterprise.
Mr Jogiya had been bundled into a van while walking home on a cold night in January, before he was beaten for information and then dumped in a country lane near Stoughton, Leicestershire.
Jervis was sent back to the shop to open the safe while wearing a burkha disguise, but was defeated by a 12-hour time-lock.
The jury cleared another man, Callan Reeve, of murder but convicted him of manslaughter.
A fourth defendant, Javon Roach, 30, of Norwich Road, Leicester, was acquitted of all charges he was facing; murder, manslaughter, robbery and kidnapping.
Mcauley, 20, of Gooding Avenue, Braunstone, and Reeve, 20, of Aylmer Road, both Leicester, along with Jervis, 24, of Enderby Road, Whetstone, Leicestershire; had all admitted kidnap and robbery before trial, but denied murder and an alternative manslaughter charge.
Unsuspecting Mr Jogiya was abducted near his shop in Belgrave Road, Leicester, on January 24, this year.
Opening the case, James House QC told Birmingham Crown Court said the "sophisticated" operation must have been planned over weeks if not months.
Mr Jogiya was handled with such force one of his biceps was ripped away from the bone, six of his ribs on the left side were broken, and he had multiple injuries to his hands and fingers.
Jurors also heard how the pensioner suffered 21 distinctive circular injuries to the torso and shoulder area, suggestive of something being used to inflict repeated pain.
Mr Jogiya was abandoned, probably still alive according to the prosecution, in an isolated location with his mobile phone having been thrown away by his kidnappers.
His body was found at about 10am the next day by a retired couple driving past the scene.
Addressing jurors on the first day of trial, Mr House said: "Mr Jogiya died as a direct result of his significant injuries, coated in mud and lying in the gateway of a field beside a quiet country road."
The Crown had alleged the men responsible "needed information from him to enable them to enter his jewellery shop, turn off the number-coded burglar alarm, access the number-coded safe and steal the valuable gold jewellery within".
He added: "To get that information, those involved all knew they would have to force it out of him if they were to have any chance of success.
"Mr Jogiya was therefore beaten until he divulged the information they required.
"Once they had that information he was dumped, probably still alive but seriously injured, miles from help, thus allowing the group to access the shop, with the keys they had taken from him."
Later in the trial Mcauley, when giving evidence in his own defence, had pointed the finger of blame squarely at Roach, claiming the bigger man had "got angry", "started hitting Mr Jogiya" and then "poking" the victim with a sharp metal tool, called a centre punch.
But jurors were unconvinced by Mcauley's account and instead convicted him of playing a role in the killing, while clearing Roach of any wrong-doing.
The verdicts prompted emotional outbursts from the public gallery and inside the court dock.
Mcauley hurled insults at Mr Roach before he was led away by security staff, also shouting expletives at the jury.
Mr Justice Martin Spencer thanked jurors for their service, telling them: "It's been my privilege to observe you in the course of the trial, the way you've given this case your attention and the approach adopted to it.
"It's a huge affirmation for the jury system."
Remanding Jervis, Mcauley and Reeve into custody, he adjourned sentencing until September 10.
Afterwards, Mr Jogiya's family, in a statement released through police, said they had been put through an "horrendous" ordeal, adding: "Dad was taken from us before his time, but for him, we will always remember the happier times and he will forever live on in our memories and in our hearts."
Detective Chief Inspector David Swift-Rollinson, of Leicestershire Police, said: "Rarely have I investigated a crime so wicked and ruthless.
"The depravity, inhumanity and utter contempt they showed for their victim has caused untold anguish for his family and stunned the whole community.
"The only possible comfort left for the family is that the people responsible for this terrible crime will now be locked up for a very long time."