Three Convicted

Three men were facing life sentences today for killing an IT expert after snatching his girlfriend's Halloween hat.

 

Ben Gardner, 30, was punched to the ground where he lay helpless as one of the men kicked his head ``as if taking a penalty''.

Allanna Devine, 28, was also punched in the attack on October 31 last year, the Old Bailey heard.

Daniel Ransom, 21, Ross Collender, 21, and Jordan Dixon, 18, all of Carshalton, Surrey, were found guilty of murder by 11 to 1 majorities.

Sarah Davey, 41, of Sutton, Surrey, was found not guilty of assisting an offender by harbouring Dixon.

The father of Ben Gardner told how he held the hand of his ``beautiful boy'' and kissed him as he lay dying in hospital.

His father, David Gardner, said police knocked on the door to say he had been involved in a fight and told him: ``He's not going to make it.''

Mr Gardner described in a victim impact statement read out in court how he was taken to St Helier Hospital in Carshalton, Surrey, where his son was being treated.

He said: ``The doctors and nurses explained that the injuries were so severe that he would die shortly.

``I saw my son, Ben, lying unconscious and lifeless on a life support machine, tubed and ventilated.

``I rang friends and relatives and they arrived in numbers. Everyone was shocked and in tears. Ben received his last rites and died at 8.30pm.

``He died holding my hand with his eyes slightly open. I only hope he saw me. I kissed him twice on the forehead and I blessed him and said goodbye.

``Ben was a beautiful boy. I suppose every father says that, but he was adorable with his blond hair and blue eyes and gorgeous smile.''

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