Three men imprisoned for life

THREE men have today been found guilty of the murder of an Essex man who was shot on his doorstep.David Taylor, 40, Peter Jones, 38, both of no fixed address, and 43-year-old Martin Valentine from Viola Close, South Ockendon, were found guilty of murdering John Ward, a 22-year-old man from Clacton, at the Old Bailey today.

THREE men have today been found guilty of the murder of an Essex man who was shot on his doorstep.

David Taylor, 40, Peter Jones, 38, both of no fixed address, and 43-year-old Martin Valentine from Viola Close, South Ockendon, were found guilty of murdering John Ward, a 22-year-old man from Clacton, at the Old Bailey today.

Vishnu Bhaskaran, a 28-year-old man from Mill Road, Colchester, and Stephen Walker, 29, from High Street, Dedham, were both found not guilty.

Senior Investigating Officer Phil Tucker said: “The murder of John Ward was a totally disproportionate act of violence by a group of criminal thugs who were so callous they didn't care who was killed by their actions.

“The motive that night was little more than petty revenge for a minor robbery, and a message from David Taylor that no-one should mess with his family. The result was the death of an innocent bystander. My heart goes out to Michelle and Gary for the loss of their son. He happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and paid for that with his life.”

All three men were sentenced to life imprisonment. David Taylor and Martin Valentine were recommended to serve a minimum of 30 years each and Peter Jones 25 years.