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30 June 2010, 17:55
Three teenage boys have been jailed for the manslaughter of a big issue seller in Bournemouth.
41-year-old Ralph Millward was found dead at his pitch outside Marks & Spencer in Westborne on May 8 last year.
15-year-old Jimmy Ayres, Warren Crago and Craig Real who are both 17 and all from Poole, were found guilty of manslaughter in May at Winchester Crown Court.
Today, at the same court, Real was jailed for four years and nine months, Crago for four years and Ayres, who was 14 at the time of the attack, just under two years
Detective Inspector Jez Noyce of Dorset Police’s Major Crime Investigation Team, said: “This was a despicable crime against a defenceless and homeless man.
"The three young defendants showed such ruthless disregard for 41-year-old Ralph Millward who was a well-known and liked member of the Westbourne community.
"It was a senseless act by boys who had no thoughts of the consequences of their actions. It would be a sad inditement of society should this mind set be allowed to flourish unchecked. While such events are very rare in Dorset, Dorset Police will always take such behaviour seriously and will work hard to pursue justice. This conviction and sentence should serve as a warning to those who feel that they can go through life advocating responsiblity for their actions and not then facing the consequences."
He added: "This crime had a significant impact on the Westbourne community and I would like to express my gratitude for the assistance and support received from local residents and traders throughout the investigation.
"Ralph’s killers were arrested following a report of criminal damage to cars in the Westbourne area from a member of the public.
"CCTV footage showing the three offenders walking away from where Ralph was killed played a crucial role in bringing them to justice."