Page last updated at 19:37 GMT, Friday, 21 May 2010 20:37 UK

Three kicked to death Big Issue seller in Bournemouth

Ralph Millward
Ralph Millward was found dead with a supermarket trolley on top of him

Three teenagers have been found guilty of manslaughter after kicking to death a Big Issue seller outside a shop in Bournemouth.

Ralph Millward, 41, was attacked by Jimmy Ayres, 15, Craig Real, 17, and Warren Crago, 17, on 8 May last year.

He had been sleeping rough outside Marks and Spencer in Westbourne.

Ayres, of Aspen Gardens, Crago, of Arne Crescent and Real, of Turbary Close, were tried at Winchester Crown Court. Sentencing will take place on 30 June.

The foreman of the jury initially delivered the wrong three verdicts, saying "not guilty" when asked if they were guilty of murder but another juror stood up and said "that's wrong".

The foreman said he had been confused as he meant they were not guilty of murder and did not realise he had to add the words, guilty of manslaughter.

'Frankly appalling'

As the correct verdict was read out the defendants all bowed their heads below the level of the dock, while their parents were in tears.

A fourth teenager, who was with the group the night Mr Millward died, told the court he had tried to stop the attack.

The trial heard that the four youths had bought and drunk two bottles of cider and two bottles of vodka on the night of 7 May.

Mr Millward, who was well known in the local neighbourhood, was discovered lying dead in bushes by two outreach workers the next morning.

He had died from multiple blunt force injuries and a was found with a supermarket trolley on top of him.

The judge lifted reporting restrictions on naming the three teenagers, calling the crime "frankly appalling".



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SEE ALSO
Homeless man 'repeatedly kicked'
15 Apr 10 |  Dorset
Big Issue man 'kicked to death'
13 Apr 10 |  Dorset
Three boys deny Big Issue killing
30 Jun 09 |  Dorset

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