Tuesday, 15 Jun 2021

Four guilty of hacking dad to death in 'public execution' at silent disco

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Three men and a teenage boy have been convicted of murdering a dad who was chased through the streets and hacked to death in front of dozens of partygoers.

Andre Gayle, 29, was stabbed nine times in the early hours of August 31 last year in an alleyway close to Easton Community Centre in Bristol.

CCTV footage released by police showed him desperately trying to push his way through a large crowd which had gathered for a silent disco before his killers caught up with him.

Mr Gayle’s distraught mother said her family were horrified by the ‘brutal and senseless’ killing, which she described as being ‘tantamount to a public execution’.

Rico Corbin and Tyan Finlayson, both 28 and from Speedwell, and a 17-year-old, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, were found guilty of murder following a trial at Bristol Crown Court.

Jerome Lewis, 25, from London, pleaded guilty to murder at an earlier hearing and the four will all be sentenced on July 5.

A fifth man, aged 40, was found not guilty.

In a statement released after the verdicts, Mr Gayle’s mother said: ‘My family is grief-stricken and struggling to come to terms with not only losing my son but also the brutality and senseless evil in the way they attacked and killed him; it was tantamount to a public execution.

‘These men are fearless, remorseless and have shown total disregard for people in the community of Bristol and caused innocent bystanders to flee in terror at what was unfolding in front of them.

‘During this trial we have had to watch CCTV footage of Andre’s last moments alive which has been harrowing, the pain is immeasurable.

‘It is still hard to accept that he is gone and I personally don’t think I will ever be able to accept the loss.

‘Too many parents are losing and have lost their sons and family members to this epidemic of knife crime and I want my grandchildren, Andre’s children, to be safe and have a future without these murderers walking amongst us.

‘We have now come together as a family to love, guide and support Andre’s children whose young lives have dramatically changes.

‘We need time as a family to grieve properly and try to heal. I would like to thank everyone who has given and shown so much support, I couldn’t have got through this without them.’

Mr Gayle’s father added: ‘Seeing my son lying in the hospital bed, completely motionless, being kept alive by machines – my boy, who had so much energy and spirit – his life taken from us.

‘No parent should have to bury their son.

‘My son, who is also a father, will never see his children grown up – not only have I lost a son, his children have also lost a father.

‘Andre’s siblings, who too are devastated by his death, will never be able to have a relationship with him. So many lives destroyed by the hands of these vicious murderers.

‘Taking these murderers off the street will not bring back my son, but it will prevent the suffering of another family and allow our kids to grow old and die naturally.’

Detective Inspector Roger Doxsey said Mr Gayle was killed ‘in a senseless knife attack’ carried out in front of a large crowd.

He added: ‘While the motive for this pre-planned attack on Andre has never been fully understood, the CCTV evidence is clear and unmistakeable.

‘It has shown the investigation team and indeed the jury this was a savage, vicious and unrestrained attack on an unarmed man by a group of cowardly individuals who acted together, and who were prepared to use knives to achieve their objective.

‘They showed a total disregard to other members of the public who were in the immediate vicinity, which included another innocent man who was repeatedly stabbed in a case of mistaken identity, but who thankfully survived his injuries.’

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