Police chief condemns ‘dangerous individual’ guilty of Daniel Saunders murder

Detective Chief Inspector Mike Brown of Suffolk Constabulary PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Detective Chief Inspector Mike Brown of Suffolk Constabulary PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

A police chief has condemned the ‘dangerous individual’ found guilty of stabbing Daniel Saunders to death in Ipswich last year.

Daniel Saunders, 32, died on December 16 last year Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Daniel Saunders, 32, died on December 16 last year Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY - Credit: Archant

A 17-year-old boy from Bury St Edmunds - who cannot be named for legal reasons - was convicted of the murder of Mr Saunders at Ipswich Crown Court today (August 21), after a jury unanimously found him guilty following a six-week trial.

The teenager had denied murder, telling detectives he used the knife, which he claimed was being carried by Mr Saunders' friend, in self-defence.

Detective Chief Inspector Mike Brown, on behalf of Senior Investigating Officer DCI Caroline Millar, said: "I am pleased with the verdicts handed down today and that justice has been delivered for Daniel Saunders' family.

"However, this does not bring Daniel back for them and his tragic and utterly senseless death, has further highlighted one of the most highly devastating issues affecting numerous towns and cities across the country.

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"This was the second murder investigation DCI Millar led in the space of two years where county lines drug dealing played a part in the attack, the other being the death of Dean Stansby in February 2017.

"Daniel, like Dean, had sadly become addicted to Class A drugs, the purchase of which has seemingly become more dangerous for the addicts, as they are buying from people who regularly arm themselves with weapons in the event of any disagreement."

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Also before the court were five other defendants who denied assisting an offender by disposing of his clothing and harbouring him at a caravan park - but were all found guilty.

They are Arjun Jadeja, 18, of The Nook, Wivenhoe; Benjamin Gosbell, 20, of Gratian Close, Highwoods, Colchester; Olusola Durojaiye, 33, of Appleton Mews, Colchester; a 16-year-old boy from Bury St Edmunds, and a 17-year-old boy from Colchester.

DCI Brown continued: "What was even more startling about Daniel's murder, was that his assailant was just 17-years-old, and three of those who assisted him were aged 18 or under - with the youngest being 15 at the time of the incident.

"Although all of the defendants are old enough to know right from wrong, the pattern we are seeing all too frequently is that of teenagers being drawn into the dangerous world of drugs supply, which is presented to them as somewhat glamorous and a way to easily earn sizeable sums of cash.

"Daniel Saunders' killer should be under no illusions now as to the devastating consequences of his extreme act of violence on that Sunday afternoon last December.

"He brought a 32-year-old man's life to an abrupt end with little motivation for the attack and, despite his young age, he is clearly a dangerous individual and now faces a lengthy term in custody when he is sentenced."

Sentencing will take place at Ipswich Crown Court on Friday 4 October.

The 17-year-old boy from Bury St Edmunds, Gosbell and Jadeja have all been remanded in custody pending that appearance.

The 16-year-old boy from Bury St Edmunds, 17-year-old boy from Colchester and Duroyaie have been granted conditional bail with curfew orders.

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