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Home   Sheerness   News   Article

Sheppey murderers locked up for life after beating Gary Pocock to death and dumping body on Warden beach

09 May 2014
by Julia Roberts

Four thugs have today been locked up for life for brutally murdering a man whose body was found half-naked on a Sheppey beach in a sickening revenge attack.

Mark Terry, 44, his son Matthew, 21, Christopher Bones, 21, and 16-year-old Ritchie Zborowski were told they will serve a minimum of 76 years between them behind bars before being considered for parole.

Jamie West, 19, who was convicted of the manslaughter of Gary Pocock, was sentenced to seven years in youth custody. He will serve half his sentence.

Gary Pocock was found dead on a Sheppey beach

Gary Pocock was found dead on a Sheppey beach

Mark Terry's wife Lisa, 33, who admitted perverting the course of justice during the trial, was also jailed for 14 months.

Mr Pocock had been lured to the beach in a revenge attack - after a girl claimed he had sexually assaulted her - and savagely beaten with baseball bats before being dumped on the sand in Warden last August.

He had suffered 62 devastating blows to the head, face and body - caused by baseball bats as well as kicks and stamps - in a brutal display of violence.

Sickeningly, CCTV footage captured Bones cheering as he left the scene of the brutal and frenzied killing.

And a 999 call released by police today captures the moment Mark Terry broke down in fake tears as he lied about the last time he saw the victim.

Mark Terry was jailed for life, to serve a minimum of 26 years

Mark Terry was jailed for life, to serve a minimum of 26 years

Matthew Terry was jailed for life, to serve a minimum of 19 years

Matthew Terry was jailed for life, to serve a minimum of 19 years

The jury last month returned unanimous verdicts on Mark and Matthew Terry, of Grantham Road, Manor Park, east London, and Bones, of Dorothy Gardens, Dagenham, Essex.

Zborowski, of Sea View Gardens, Warden, and West, of Cliff View Gardens, Warden, were convicted by a 10-1 majority.

The identity of Zborowski can only be reported today after Judge Jeremy Carey agreed to lift a banning order after an application by KentOnline.

The judge told Mark Terry he will serve a minimum of 26 years, Matthew Terry he will serve at least 19 years, Bones at least 18 years and Zborowski at least 13 years.

Christopher Bones was jailed for life, to serve a minimum of 18 years

Christopher Bones was jailed for life, to serve a minimum of 18 years

Ritchie Zborowski was locked up for life, to serve a minimum of 13 years

Ritchie Zborowski was detained for life, to serve a minimum of 13 years

All five were unanimously found guilty of perverting the course of justice. They denied all the charges.

None gave any reaction to their sentence today other than Zborowski, who waved at the public gallery.

Only Mark Terry did not go into the witness box to give evidence about what happened the night Mr Pocock was beaten to death.

The 34-year-old caretaker's half-naked body was found on the sand off Warden Bay Road by a man with a metal detector on the morning of August 7 last year.

Mr Pocock was not identified until the following day when a description of a distinctive signet ring he had been wearing was reported by the media. His partner, Wendy Polley, recognised it and contacted police.

Scroll down for video and audio

A bloodied baseball bat found on the beach at Warden by detectives

A bloodied baseball bat found on the beach at Warden by detectives

The prosecution alleged Mr Pocock, from Dagenham, east London, was the victim of a punishment attack after a girl claimed he had sexually assaulted her.

Mark and Matthew Terry, Bones and Mr Pocock were all staying at holiday chalets in Leysdown.

Passing sentence, Judge Carey spoke of the "horrifying and frenzied" attack on Mr Pocock, who was unable to defend himself from both the onslaught on the beach - and the subsequent attacks on his character during the trial.

The judge added it was "grotesque" that he should have been murdered on the basis of nothing more than an unsubstantiated allegation.
 
 
"A precious life has been lost and Mr Pocock is genuinely and deeply mourned by his partner, Wendy Polley, and his close friends whose expressions of shock and distress are movingly set out in Anthony Pocock's (brother) impact statement," said Judge Carey. 
 
Addressing Mark Terry, Matthew Terry, Bones and Zborowski, the judge said that on the night of his death, Mr Pocock believed he was enjoying an "ordinary" night out with friends and had no reason to think otherwise.
 
"You Mark Terry were a good friend of long-standing; why should he think that you would harm him?"
Police at a beach in Warden after Gary Pocock's body was found

Police at a beach in Warden after Gary Pocock's body was found

 
Judge Carey said that it was decided on the strength of no more than a verbal allegation from a young girl to, at that initial stage, beat up Mr Pocock.
 
"I cannot be sure in the early stages of the plan that you intended Mr Pocock be murdered but you decided from the outset that he should be given a good beating, for why else would it be necessary for him to be outnumbered?"
 
Mark Terry, said Judge Carey, recruited his son and and his best friend, Bones, and by the time they met with Zborowski and West to discuss Mr Pocock's punishment, the trio had decided that he would be the victim of a group attack "by ambush".
 
The prosecution never accused West of being at the beach when Mr Pocock was murdered.
 
However, it was he who supplied the baseball bats used to brutally attack him.
Jamie West will serve half of a seven-year sentence in youth custody

Jamie West will serve half of a seven-year sentence in youth custody

 
Mark Terry was described as the "overall organiser and participant" in luring Mr Pocock to the beach where Matthew Terry, Bones and Zborowski could "take him by surprise".
 
Judge Carey said the four knew before they reached the beach that bats would be used to subject Mr Pocock to a "brutal and sustained" attack in which they all took part.
 
"Mr Pocock suffered 62 blows to his head, face and body, principally caused by baseball bats but also kicks and stamps.
 
The injuries to his head were horrendous."
Murderer Christopher Bones is caught on CCTV cheering after the group beat Gary Pocock to death

Murderer Christopher Bones is caught on CCTV cheering after the group beat Gary Pocock to death

 
Zborowski initially denied any involvement in the killing, but later told police he had been on the beach and witnessed an "explosion of blood" as the others laid into him.
 
But, having branded Zborowski an "accomplished liar", Judge Carey said he rejected that account. "On the contrary, I am sure you took part in it by your supportive and encouraging presence.
 
"An accomplished liar though you are, you did not fabricate the evidence of Mr Pocock's blood splashing on your face.
 
"Thereafter you saw at close quarters what happened because you were at close quarters and egging on the others."
 
 
 
Video: CCTV footage shows Gary Pocock's killers drinking before luring him to his death on the beach at Warden
 
He added: "It must have been a horrifying, if relatively short-lived, experience for the dying man and an appalling scene of four frenzied males attacking a defenceless man on the ground and intending to kill him, for I am sure that at that stage was your intention.
 
"How else can you interpret the injuries and the means whereby they were inflicted."
 
Mr Pocock was then "unceremoniously" dragged across the beach and dumped in the sea with the expectation his body would float away.
 
The judge said he also rejected Zborowski's claim that he acted out of "fear of a threat" from his co-defendants and remarked that having taken part in the killing, the teenager returned to the holiday chalet with the others and had "sexual contact" with a girl.
Police officers guard the entrance to a beach where Gary Pocock was found dead

Police officers guard the entrance to a beach where Gary Pocock was found dead

Judge Carey referred to West as the "armourer", who supplied the weapons and said he knew "in all probability" they would be used to cause harm.
 
He continued that Mark Terry's orchestration of attempts for others to believe Mr Pocock was still alive, including his son texting Miss Polley and purporting to be her partner, was "a callous act in the extreme".
 
The court heard Mark and Matthew Terry were also filmed by TV cameras laying flowers on the beach after Mr Pocock's body had been discovered and before they were arrested.
 
Judge Carey said a "disturbing" feature of the case was the "easy and matter of fact" way each defendant acted before, during and after the murder.

 

 

Video: Police at the beach where Gary Pocock's body was found  

DCI Jon Clayden, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: "From start to finish, the web of lies this group attempted to spin to cover up what they had done is nothing short of staggering.

"As far as Gary Pocock was concerned, Mark Terry was as close to a best friend as he had and there was no reason for him to be suspicious of going on a night out around town with him and a selection of friends he knew well.

"CCTV footage on the night shows them drinking together, seemingly enjoying themselves, yet unbeknown to Mr Pocock, the group had plotted to 'teach him a lesson' and ultimately lured him to his death. What had started off originally as a planned beating ended up being a savage and deathly attack, which was undoubtedly fuelled by alcohol.

"With the help of Lisa Terry, they tried to cover their tracks and even went as far as telling Mr Pocock’s partner that the body found was not him. Not content with that, Mark Terry shamefully sent his son Matthew to Barking to pretend to be Mr Pocock and send messages to his partner, all in an attempt to stop her calling police."

DCI Jon Clayden, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate

DCI Jon Clayden, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate

He added: "The turning point in this investigation came when we issued an image of a ring worn by the victim and we were soon able to identify the body. Yet still the group lied through their teeth, sticking to the story that Mr Pocock had met another woman and had gone back to Essex with her.

"Following a lengthy and through investigation, we were able to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that four members of this group were responsible for this callous and unprovoked murder of a man they previously viewed as a good friend. One other member was found guilty of manslaughter.

"Our deepest sympathies remain with Mr Pocock's partner and his family who have had to go through a trial and have what happened that night dragged back up. I do hope the fact these five have been tried and found guilty for the horrible and cowardly crime they committed will be of some comfort to those close to Mr Pocock."

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