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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 April 2006, 05:00 GMT 06:00 UK
Men guilty of hedge body killing
Jak Jones, Calvin Grant and Shaun Johns
Jones, Grant and Johns stamped on Mr Gange and took his car keys
Three youths have been convicted of killing a Staffordshire man who had written to his local newspaper complaining about street yobs.

Shaun Johns of Chaddesden was convicted by a jury at Nottingham Crown Court of killing Raymond Gange, 69, on Chestnut Avenue, in Chellaston, in August.

Calvin Grant, 17, from Normanton, was found guilty of manslaughter. Jak Jones, 18, of Derby, admitted murder.

Mr Gange's body was found behind a hedge more than a day after the attack.

Mr Gange, from Stone, Staffordshire, had regularly used a local newspaper's letter pages to call for tougher sentences for yobs and criminals.

'Pack of animals'

He was on his way home from a family night out when he was attacked and stamped on by the gang who stole his car keys.

Police have described the gang due to be sentenced at a later date as a "pack of animals".

We are hoping the sentence will represent the crime
Tammy Thompson, victim's granddaughter

In his letters to The Derby Evening Telegraph, the former fork-lift truck driver had called for the government to get tough on criminals who reoffend.

One letter read: "Criminals given soft sentences often reoffend time and time again, and yet the victim's family get a life sentence."

Detectives revealed on Wednesday the gang's ringleader Jones had been released from prison just two days before he killed Mr Gange.

Previous convictions

The teenager had been remanded on a charge of violence but won bail after new evidence came to light. The case was eventually discontinued against him.

Johns, who also has previous convictions, was conditionally discharged for an offence of criminal damage the day before the murder.

After the hearing, Mr Gange's granddaughter Tammy Thompson, 29, said: "We are hoping the sentence will represent the crime.

"Everyone will feel safer at night now that these criminals are off the streets. They are absolute hooligans who need to be locked up.

"This should send a message out to the youths - the young boys and girls that think they can go around and get what they want, when they want.

"This should be a sign to them that they can't do that and that they will be punished."


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