Three men in their twenties were found guilty for the ruthless assault and murder of an elderly Indian-origin jeweler who went missing in Leicester on Jan. 24, 2018.
Ramniklal Jogiya, 74, was abducted when he was on his back from his shop at Belgrave Road, and was later found dead in a lane nearby.
After a five-week trial, the Birmingham Crown Court found Thomas Jervis, 24, and Charles Frances Mcauley, 20, guilty of murder on Aug.8. The third convict, 20-year-old Callan Reeve, was found guilty of manslaughter. They will be sentenced on Sept. 10. The three had earlier admitted to abduction and robbery.
A fourth defendant, Javon Roach, 30, was acquitted of all charges.
The court heard that the accused bundled Jogiya in a van, threw his mobile phone away, before torturing and beating him in an attempt to get the security codes for the alarm system and safe at his shop. The men wanted to steal the £200,000 of gold jewelry that the safe contained, the court was told, according to the BBC.
Jurors were told that the victim suffered multiple serious injuries to his hands and fingers, one of his biceps was ripped away from the bone, and six of his ribs on the left side were broken, the Sun reported. He also suffered 21 distinctive circular injuries to the torso and shoulder area, suggesting that something was used to inflict repeated pain on him, the report added.
The incident had been planned by the convicts for weeks, the court was informed.
“Rarely have I investigated a crime so wicked and ruthless. The depravity, inhumanity and utter contempt they showed for their victim has caused untold anguish for his family and stunned the whole community,” Chief Inspector David Swift-Rollinson from Leicestershire Police said. “The only possible comfort left for the family is that the people responsible for this terrible crime will now be locked up for a very long time.”
The investigation, which was initiated as a search for a missing person, was turned into a murder investigation within 12 hours. The police examined several CCTV footages that showed Jogiya locking up the shop and beginning his walk back, while other images showed three men jumping out of a white transit van parked on Brandon Street and bundling the shopkeeper into the vehicle. Another footage showed that about 50 minutes later, a man dressed in a burka and pulling a shopping trolley entered Jogiya’s shop. This person was seen deactivating the shop alarm, going to the back of the shop where the safe was kept, and emerging a little while later, seemingly empty-handed.
Realizing that the safe could not be accessed due to a 12-hour clock, the attackers drove away from the crime scene and dumped the injured man in a countryside, knowing he would not be able to get help there.
“Although he was still alive at this point, the injuries he had suffered were so severe that he could not be saved,” David Swift-Rollinson said.