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Last Updated: Monday, 10 May, 2004, 14:41 GMT 15:41 UK
'Vigilantes' jailed for killing
from left to right, Daniel Poole, Richard Greyham and Stephen Poole
Daniel Poole (left), Richard Greyham and Stephen Poole
A gang of three vigilantes who beat a suspected paedophile to death have been jailed for life.

Matthew Murray, 39, was attacked in a Derbyshire village in July last year.

Daniel Poole, 21, his uncle, Steven Poole, 37, and Richard Greyham, 31, had all denied murder but were convicted at Nottingham Crown Court.

The three men all lived in Mickley, where Mr Murray was living at the time he was assaulted.

Fatal attack

Prosecutor John Warren, QC, told the jury at Nottingham Crown Court that in the days leading up to the attack, rumours had been circulating that Mr Murray had sexually assaulted a girl.

The court heard Mr Murray had been beaten at his home, where he was left staggering, frightened and bloodied.

Almost three hours later, Mr Murray was standing at a bus stop on the A61 at Stretton, Derbyshire, when he was subjected to the fatal attack.

This was a dreadful crime, it involved taking the law into your hands and attacking an already badly injured man
Mr Justice Gage

After the incident the three men drove off, leaving Mr Murray at the side of the road, where motorists pulled over to help.

Mr Murray suffered head wounds, a swollen brain and fractures to his ribcage, sternum and nose.

Greyham and Poole were found to have Mr Murray's bloodstains on their clothing.

Passing sentence, Mr Justice Gage told them their belief that Mr Murray was guilty of sexual abuse was "absolutely no excuse" for their actions.

"This was a dreadful crime, it involved taking the law into your hands and attacking an already badly injured man."

Steven Poole's girlfriend Michelle Warriner, 24, had already admitted assault in relation to the earlier incident at Mr Murray's home.

She was sentenced to eight months in jail.

Daniel Poole will serve a minimum 14-year term, Steven Poole was handed a minimum of 12 years and Greyham a minimum of 13 years.

Murder accused 'punched victim'
29 Apr 04  |  Derbyshire
Gang 'killed paedophile suspect'
21 Apr 04  |  Derbyshire

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