Mark Heywood KC leading Andrew Wallace prosecuted 6 Defendants and successfully obtained murder and manslaughter convictions against all of them following a 6-week trial at Wolverhampton Crown Court. Michelle Heeley KC represented a 16 year old defendant who cannot be named for Waldrons Solicitors.

Shortly before 7:28 pm on Friday 25th February 2022 a stolen Renault Laguna containing 5 masked occupants pulled up outside 38 Caslon Crescent, Stourbridge which was the address of the Jones family. 

Seb Jones was in the front room downstairs with a friend, listening to music and playing a computer game.  David Jones, his father, was lying on his bed in an upstairs bedroom.  John Jones, also known as ‘Gummy ’, Seb’s brother, was in another upstairs bedroom with his friend Justin Foxall. 

The front door had been left unlocked. 

The masked males got out of the Renault Laguna. Four of them entered 38 Caslon Crescent. They were all armed. 

Ravi Talware, a significant Class A drug dealer in the Wolverhampton/Stourbridge area was armed with a shortened shotgun.  It seemed that John Jones owed him £175 for drugs. 

Three youths who cannot be named were recruited by Talware: They were armed with 2 large combat knives and an imitation Glock pistol.

Kevin Waldron, the driver of the Laguna, stood watch outside. 

Ravi Talware went straight upstairs to the bedroom of John Jones and shot him at point blank range in the chest. John Jones died instantly. 

Meanwhile, the young Defendants were tasked with preventing anyone downstairs from interfering with what Talware was doing upstairs with John Jones.  When Seb Jones tried to leave the downstairs living room to run upstairs, he was stabbed by the youths 4 times to his back, and also sustained a punctured lung. 

As soon as Talware had killed John Jones, he came back downstairs, told the youths to ‘Go, go, go’ and they all left in the Laguna. Despite their masks, Talware had been recognized. 

To get rid of the forensic evidence, the Laguna was abandoned and was set on fire and the attackers changed their clothes. However they did not succeed in getting rid of all the forensic evidence. The weapons were abandoned in a holdall in a wheelie bin in Wolverhampton near to Talware’s home. The holdall bore one of the youth’s DNA, and the fatal shotgun shell in the murder weapon inside the holdall bore Waldron’s DNA.

Through a combination of a lengthy CCTV trawl of all CCTV cameras in the area and  telephone communications between the Defendants, the police were able to demonstrate the involvement of all of the 5 who attended the murder scene, and also to show that Scott Garrington, an associate of Talware and Waldron was involved in the preparation and planning of the murder. 

At the end of the 6-week trial, the 3 adult male Defendants: Talware, Waldron and Garrington were convicted of John Jones’ murder.

The 3 youth Defendants were convicted of John Jones’ manslaughter and also convicted of wounding Seb Jones with intent. 

All will be sentenced in a couple of months after sentencing reports have been prepared.