Teenager Guilty Of Rapper Stab Murder

A man has been found guilty of stabbing to death an aspiring rapper.

Thomas Brittain, 26, was found dead in a flat in Colchester in March after two men broke into the property.

Jack Hummerstone, 18, of no fixed address, was today found guilty of murder and grievous bodily harm with intent at Chelmsford Crown Court, Essex Police said.

Andre Vella, aged 19, from Kirby Cross, was cleared on both these counts.

Both men pleaded guilty to possession of an imitation firearm with intent to commit a criminal offence.

They were also charged with aggravated burglary, which Hummerstone admitted. Vella was found guilty of this charge.

They will be sentenced in two weeks, on a date to be fixed.

Mr Brittain, a hip hop songwriter and producer also known as Twister, was found inside a friend's flat in the town's Parkside Quarter.

The trial heard the men had raided the property with a knife and handgun, hoping to find drugs or cash.

Three children who lived in the flat hid in the next room as he was stabbed to death.

Vella had accepted he went along with the raid but told the court he had no idea Hummerstone would go on to kill Mr Brittain.

Detective Inspector Anne Cameron, from the Kent and Essex serious crime directorate, said:

"Tom was a well-respected musician who spent his last few months in fear of Jack Hummerstone, resulting in Tom losing his flat, his possessions and ultimately his life.

"Jack Hummerstone and Andre Vella forced their way into a flat, containing a young family, carrying a guns and a knife.

"They had no consideration of the impact their actions would have on such young children.

"The flat owner was attacked, being stabbed on the hand and hit with the imitation gun. Tom was then repeatedly stabbed whilst he fought for his life. One of those wounds was fatal.

"This was a planned callous violent attack on a defenceless family and particularly Tom. Tom's family have lost a much loved brother and son, for which no justice will bring him back.

"My condolences go to the family and Tom's friends and I hope they are now able to grieve in peace, knowing that these men will be sent to prison."