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Four get life for Northfleet murder

LIFE sentences have been handed out to all four men convicted of the savage murder of Ted Shaxted.

Three of the four defendants, Bill Saunders, Marvin Service and Kelvin Horlock, denied any involvement in the brutal attack which led to the death of Ted Shaxted at his Northfleet flat in December 2007.

The fourth defendant, Trevor Lees, 35, of London Road, Northfleet, had denied murder but admitted manslaughter.

But after almost three days of deliberation, the jury at Maidstone Crown Court found all four guilty of murder.

They were each handed life sentences by the judge, Michael Lawson QC, who called the murder a "vigilante attack" on an alcoholic.

Horlock was accused of instigating the attack as punishment for Mr Shaxted taking his mum's car without permission.

The prosecution maintained all four were involved in the beating of 36-year-old Mr Shaxted who died from multiple injuries 12 days after the assault at his Wallis Park flat.

Horlock, 29, of Hatfield Road, Strood was given 16 years; Service, 33, of Brandon Street, Gravesend 14 years; Trevor Lees, 35, of London Road, Northfleet 13 years and eight months, and Bill Saunders, 27, of Shamrock Road, Gravesend 14 years. Time already served in custody will be taken off the length of sentence.

Mr Shaxted, who was able to speak to police officers before dying of organ failure in his Darent Valley Hospital bed, suffered 11 broken ribs, a fractured collar bone and head injuries. However, Mr Shaxted refused to name anyone involved and did not support a prosecution.

Judge Michael Lawson QC told Horlock: "You either sent or, more likely, led the group of your friends to punish Mr Shaxted for what was probably regarded as a lack of respect for you."

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