Page last updated at 10:53 GMT, Thursday, 2 October 2008 11:53 UK

Triple killer jailed for 35 years

Kevan Thakrar, left, and brother Miran
Kevan Thakrar, left, and brother Miran were convicted of three murders

A 21-year-old drug dealer who helped his brother to gun down three men in a gangland killing in Hertfordshire has been jailed for life.

Kevan Thakrar, of Stevenage, guilty of three murders, was told at Southwark Crown Court he must serve 35 years.

Mr Justice Cooke said: "You acted with your brother Miran played the leading part, but you played a willing part."

Keith Cowell, 52, Matthew Cowell, 17, and Tony Dulieu, 33, from Essex, died during a 30,000 cocaine deal in 2007.

The attack took place during the bungled drug deal at the Cowells' home in Plaw Hatch Close, Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, on 28 August last year.

Planned revenge

The Thakrar brothers were also convicted of the attempted murders of Christine Jennings, 54, whose son Ian hid in the back garden during the attack, and Claire Evans, 23, the girlfriend of Matthew Cowell.

The two women were repeatedly stabbed and shot by the brothers in an attempt to eliminate any witnesses, but they survived.

Miran Thakrar had been supplied with cocaine which he regarded as low quality by Ian Jennings and planned revenge, the court heard.

During his trial at St Albans Crown Court, Miran Thakrar, of no fixed address, was described as a low level drug dealer who planned to move up the chain and armed himself with a Mac 10 sub-machine gun.

This was used to gun down the people at the house in Bishop's Stortford and when it jammed the brothers resorted to stabbing their victims.

Following the murders Miran Thakrar fled to Northern Cyprus but was returned by the authorities to Britain with his girlfriend Amanda Dansie, 21, of High Street, Buntingford, Hertfordshire.

Kevan tried to join his brother but was arrested.

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