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Brothers jailed for gypsy camp killing

The brothers will be sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court
The brothers will be sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court

Three brothers were each jailed for three-and-a-half years after admitting their part in the death of a man when trouble erupted on a gypsy camp.

Samuel "Johnny", 22, Jimmy, 24, and Phillip Powell, 25, were due to stand trial on Monday, accused of murdering 51-year-old William Lee. But their guilty pleas to manslaughter "without intent" were accepted by the prosecution.

With time spent in custody, the brothers, of Star Lane, St Mary's Cray, could be free in just over a year.

Maidstone Crown Court heard that Samuel Powell was driving a Vauxhall Vectra car containing his brothers that ran over Mr Lee at Saulskins site in Ship Lane, Sutton-at-Hone, Dartford, on August 26 last year.

Philip St John-Stevens, prosecuting, said the victim suffered two breaks in his right leg and died in hospital two days later from a heart attack.

A pathologist found that Mr Lee had a severe heart disease and could have died at any time regardless of stress. But he also concluded that the incident contributed significantly to his death.

The violence resulted from Jimmy Powell’s troubled relationship with Mr Lee’s niece, Rachel Eastwood. The couple fell out over their daughter, then aged three months.

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