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Home   Gravesend   News   Article

Gravesend mum-of-six Thereza George and lover Neil Sookoo face jail for bid to nobble witnesses in Eddy Ives' trial over Ben Mahoney's Dartford death

18 December 2013
by Keith Hunt
Killer Eddy Ives was jailed for eight years

Killer Eddy Ives was jailed for eight years

A mother-of-six and her partner who tried to nobble witnesses before the trial of a man accused of manslaughter have been warned to expect jail sentences.
 
Thereza George, 42, was granted conditional bail - but a judge told her she should prepare herself for prison.
 
Neil Sookoo, 37, was already in custody having admitted a drug-dealing offence and will remain in prison until sentence in the new year.
 
They both denied perverting the course of justice, but were convicted.
 
The pair, of Hampton Crescent, Gravesend, will be joined by Eddy Ives - jailed for eight years in September for the manslaughter of Ben Mahoney, 30, at the House on the Hill kebab shop in East Hill, Dartford, on April 12.
 
Ives admitted perverting the course of justice. His sister, Meranda Eccleston, of St Gregory's Crescent, Gravesend, was acquitted of the charge.
 
The 35-year-old assistant head of ticketing at Millwall FC sobbed and shouted "Yes" when the jury of six men and six women returned the verdict.
 
Judge Martin Joy said Sookoo and George were convicted "on overwhelming and clear evidence".
The Dartford takeaway where Ben Mahoney died

The Dartford takeaway where Ben Mahoney died

 
Maidstone Crown Court heard George visited former champion boxer Ives in Lewes Prison and obtained from him a list of witnesses in the manslaughter case and passed them onto Sookoo.
 
Judge Joy said Sookoo approached kebab shop owner Cafir Zorlu with a smile under the guise of friendliness, but the impact was to make him feel threatened.
 
"He was in fear of his business and his personal safety," he said. "Alarms and the like were fitted at his house."
 
He told Sookoo: "You are a career criminal."
The case was heard at Maidstone Crown Court

The case was heard at Maidstone Crown Court

Adjourning sentence for four weeks, the judge told George and Sookoo: "It must be quite clear to both of you that a prison sentence is inevitable.
 
"There is a long-standing principle in the courts that there must be an immediate sentence of imprisonment unless there are exceptional circumstances. That is because it undermines the whole system of criminal justice."
 
Judge Joy told George, who sat with her arms folded: "You have huge responsibilities as a mother. You knew that when you committed this offence and you are going to have to prepare for a custodial sentence."
 
Millwall FC's chief executive Andy Ambler and the club's security adviser, retired Metropolitan Police Chief Superintendent Kenneth Chapman, described Eccleston as "loyal, honest and trusted" in character references.

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