Page last updated at 16:45 GMT, Friday, 18 April 2008 17:45 UK

Four kicked to death ex-soldier

Darryll Bennett, Nicholas Garland, Richard McNamara and Shane Liddy (Clockwise from top left)
Bennett, Garland, McNamara and Liddy were convicted of murder

Four teenagers have been found guilty of kicking and stamping to death a 55-year-old former soldier.

Stephen Green was attacked in an underpass beneath the M1 in Dunstable by a gang of four as he cycled home, and died in hospital nine days later.

Darryll Bennett, 18, Richard McNamara, 19, Nicholas Garland, 18, and Shane Liddy, 19, all from Luton, were all found guilty of murder.

The four will be sentenced in May after reports, Luton Crown Court heard.

The court heard the gang had been drinking brandy and strong beer and smoking cannabis before attacking Mr Green, of Ackworth Crescent, Luton, by kicking and stamping on him.

The gang had gone to the underpass near the Hockwell Ring estate to commit a robbery to raise cash for drugs and alcohol.

'Loose change'

A jury heard that as the four saw the flickering light of Mr Green's cycle they stood in a line in front of him.

The ring leader, Darryll Bennett, then still 17, put his hand on the light and asked "What have you got for me?"

He did not have a chance to hand over any property before he was punched to the ground and repeatedly kicked.

His rucksack was taken but discarded shortly afterwards still with its contents of 5.65 in loose change.

Mr Green was treated in hospital, but head injuries and bruising rendered him immobile and he died nine days later from a blood clot brought about by the injuries.

At Luton Crown Court, Bennett, of Eighth Avenue, said to be the prime mover; McNamara, of Butely Road; Garland, of Bradley Road and Liddy, of Brickley Road, all of Luton, pleaded not guilty to murder.

Stephen Green
Stephen Green was attacked in an underpass in Dunstable

But Bennett, McNamara and Garland pleaded guilty to the alternative charge of manslaughter, and they also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob.

Bennett also admitted a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice, by trying to get a girl to change her evidence.

Liddy alone pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to rob but was convicted by the jury.

After the verdicts it was revealed that McNamara is awaiting sentence for robbing a 16-year-old, committed two months before the murder. He was on bail.

Bennett is now serving three years detention for two robberies and a theft, for which he was on bail for at the time.

Liddy was under a 12-month community penalty having been convicted of attempted robbery.

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