Tristram Wallace killers 'cruelly ended' his life says judge - The Stratford Observer
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Tristram Wallace killers 'cruelly ended' his life says judge

Stratford Editorial 13th May, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

THESE are the faces of Tristram Wallace’s killers.

Neil Potter, 37, and Peter Mallon, 42, were given life sentences after being convicted of murder.

Potter, of Clopton Road, will serve a minimum of 18 years behind bars before he can apply for parole, while Mallon, of Rumer Close, Long Marston, is expected to spend at least 16 years in jail.

Donna Windsor, 38, was cleared of murder and the jury of eight men and four women were unable to reach a verdict for Toney Jelf, 39, but both had previously pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Mr Wallace.

Windsor, of Betjeman Road, was given a ten year sentence and is likely to serve at least half of that in jail.

She will also serve six months alongside her existing custodial sentence after admitting attempted theft.

Jelf, of no fixed abode, was jailed for nine years and four months and will serve around two thirds of that sentence.

He will then be subject to a five year extended license period after the judge ruled it was necessary owing to the risk of him committing further serious offences of violence in the future.

And Florence Caines, 26, was given an eight month sentence for pleading guilty to stealing Mr Wallace’s mobile phone but has already served that while on remand.

During the five week trial, the court heard how Mr Wallace was attacked after Caines – Potter’s then girlfriend – mistakenly identified him as a drugs dealer who had cheated the group.

James Curtis QC, prosecuting, explained Mr Wallace had been going about his business in Stratford town centre when he was approached by Mr Potter who stood and blocked his path.

An argument broke out and Mr Wallace threw a punch at Potter before the two other men joined him and began raining punches on Mr Wallace.

The attack spilled over onto a traffic reservation island at the junction of Birmingham Road and Arden Street and the trio were seen by passers-by kicking and punching Mr Wallace with Potter at one point grabbing the railings to gain more leverage as he stamped on his defenceless victim.

After managing to escape to nearby Brewery Street, Mr Wallace was subjected to a further attack in which he continued to be kicked, punched and stamped on by the three men and Windsor who had joined them.

The group then attempted to loot his body – rifling through his personal belongings and ripping his clothes – as he lay semi-conscious and dying on the ground.

On hearing police sirens, the gang, who were described by one witness as “a pack of wolves”, fled but were quickly arrested.

Forensic pathologist Nicholas Hunt told jurors how despite suffering a broken nose, an internal tear to his abdomen and some 40 cuts and bruises to his legs, arms and head, none of the injuries Mr Wallace had sustained were themselves fatal.

But a combination of a head injury, Mr Wallace having a slightly enlarged heart and inhaling his own vomit while unconscious had contributed to his death.

These factors – coupled with the stress of the attack – would likely have triggered the cardiac arrest that killed him.

As the sentences were read out by The Honourable Mr Justice Timothy Holroyde, all four defendants stood impassively in the dock.

He told them: “Every crime of homicide ends one life but brings misery to others.

“The family of Tristram Wallace are left to mourn his death and live with the knowledge of how he died.

“CCTV footage showed he had passed the day doing nobody any harm but when you caught up with him, you ignored his protests he had not sold you any drugs and he did not have any money.

“I have no doubt you were determined to exact revenge for what you thought had happened.

“Members of the public intervened to stop your violence and Mr Wallace began to walk away but not content with the harm you had already caused, you all pursued him and attacked him again.

“He died in pain and fear at the side of the road – Mr Wallace’s life was cruelly ended in that way because you wrongly thought he was a cheating drug dealer.

“You all played your parts in a joint attack. You pursued your attack in the most determined way until you realised the police were coming.

“Then you fled the scene without a backward glance at the man you had left lying on the ground.

“None of you lifted a finger to help him, showed the slightest concern for him or what you had done.”

Following the sentencing, the judge paid tribute to brave members of the public who attempted to stop the attack.

He singled out Cornel Glover, Marco Sgroi, and Damien Cartwright, who he said would be presented with commendation orders, while Wayne Lavery and Ophelia Jarratt would be given small sums of money for their efforts.

All five gave evidence during the trial and the judge praised their individual contributions as well as that of the many eyewitnesses who spent time recounting their version of events to the jury.


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