Horrifying footage shows a gang of thugs battering a father to death after he tried to break up a fight outside a pub – as all five are jailed for life for murder.
Reece Cox, 24, was surrounded ‘like a pack of animals’ by the group outside a JD Wetherspoon pub in Sedgley, West Midlands.
Mr Cox – who was described as a man ‘who would always step in to help if he didn’t like what he saw’ – was trying to defuse a conflict which broke out when his friend accidentally bumped into one man in the group.
The gang turned on Mr Cox, with horrifying CCTV footage showing him being kicked in the head before lying lifeless on the ground.
Mr Cox was pronounced dead at the scene after suffering serious head injuries despite medics battling to save him on August 15 last year.
Shane Jones, 26, Wayne Burke, 23, Shaquel Halliday, 22, Adam Ashwin, 20 and Sebastian Jones, 19, were found guilty of his murder earlier this month.
All five men were jailed for life.
A sixth man, Ryan Nickin, 22, was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 12 years behind bars.
Reece Cox (pictured) was murdered when he tried to intervene in a fight outside a pub in Sedgley in August
Sickening CCTV (pictured) shows Reece being battered to the ground before one man boots him in the head
Mr Cox, 24, was surrounded ‘like a pack of animals’ by the group outside a JD Wetherspoon pub in Sedgley, West Midlands. Pictured: CCTV footage of the attack
Mr Cox (pictured on the floor) was pronounced dead at the scene after suffering serious head injuries despite medics battling to save him on August 15 last year
Following the verdict, Mr Cox’s family (him and his son, pictured) paid tribute in a statement issued by police. They said he was a ‘gentle giant’
A jury took just five and a half hours to find them all guilty.
Mr Cox’s partner Rebecca Ball told how the couple’s five-year-old son had cried for his ‘daddy’ almost every day after the attack.
Nurse Ms Ball said in a victim impact statement earlier read out to the court: ‘We have had our whole future as a family taken away from us.
‘On the day he died, it was the sixth anniversary of the day we met – what would and should always have been a happy and special day will now be a sad and permanent reminder of his horrific and senseless killing year after year.
‘It is now over eight months since Reece was killed and we have not come to terms with it – I doubt we ever will.’
Talking of the impact of Mr Cox’s death on their son, she added: ‘Due to my full-time job, as a family we decided Reece would be a full-time, stay-at-home dad to our son.
Mr Cox’s partner Rebecca Ball told how the couple’s five-year-old son (pictured with Mr Cox) had cried for his ‘daddy’ almost every day after the attack
‘This resulted in an amazing bond between them. They idolised each other and were inseparable.
‘In the days and weeks after Reece’s death, I had to explain to our boy that daddy would not be coming home again.
‘I told him daddy had gone to heaven and I watched him break down and saw the torment he went through over the following days and weeks as this young child came to terms with not having his daddy around.’
During the trial, the court heard how Mr Cox had been on a night out with his friend and his dad when they went to get some food.
The trio set off towards a taxi rank when one of them accidentally bumped into a teenager called Joe Williams.
The group, who were ‘out looking for a fight’, attacked one of the men, with Ashwin dragging him into the road and back towards the pub.
The court heard Mr Cox – who was described as a man ‘who would always step in to help if he didn’t like what he saw’ – tried to defuse the situation.
MURDER: Shane Jones, 26, (left) and Wayne Burke, 23, (right) were jailed for life for murder
MURDER: Shaquel Halliday (left) and Adam Ashwin (right) were both jailed for life for Mr Cox’s murder
MURDER: Sebastian Jones (left) was handed a life sentence. MANSLAUGHTER: A sixth man, Ryan Nickin, 22, (right) was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 12 years behind bars
AFFRAY: Tyrone Halliday, 24, (left) pleaded guilty to affray and was handed a two year community order and must complete 150 hours of unpaid work. ASSAULT: Joe Williams, 18, (right) admitted assault causing actual bodily harm and has been given a 10 month prison term, suspended for two years
Ashwin and his friends then turned their attention to Mr Cox and violently beat him to death.
A post mortem revealed he died from blunt trauma to his head.
All six were also convicted of violent disorder and causing actual bodily harm.
Two other men, Tyrone Halliday, 24, and Joe Williams, 18, pleaded guilty to other offences.
Halliday pleaded guilty to affray and was handed a two year community order and must complete 150 hours of unpaid work.
Williams, 18, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm and has been given a 10 month prison term, suspended for two years.
Following the verdict, Mr Cox’s family paid tribute in a statement issued by police.
They said: ‘Reece was a gentle giant.
West Midlands Police are pictured carrying out a forensic search at the scene off High Street and Ettymore Road in August
‘Never aggressive but would step up and front anything that wasn’t right. He would always go out of his way to help others.
‘Reece’s partner and son have had their whole future as a family taken away from them.
‘On the day he died, it was the couple’s six year anniversary of when they first met and what would and should have been a happy and special day, but now it will be a sad and permanent reminder of his horrific and senseless killing year after year.
‘Reece and his son had an amazing bond and he is our constant reminder of Reece.
‘It has broken our hearts to see the torment he has had to go through, losing his dad at the age of four.
Tributes have poured in for Mr Cox (pictured), who was dubbed a ‘hero’ for his actions in the violence
Jurors were told how Mr Cox (pictured) had been on a night out with friends and they headed to get some food before going home
‘Reece was a hero that night and lost his life saving someone else’s. We still cannot believe he has gone and think about him every single day.’
Detective Inspector Laura Harrison, from West Midlands Police’s Homicide Team, said: ‘What is so upsetting about what happened to Reece is that anyone could have been him that night.
‘He was simply on a night out with friends and tried to intervene in a fight that cost him his life.
‘Reece was an innocent member of the public who wasn’t out to cause trouble, he simply wanted to enjoy a night out.
‘These six men were out looking for a fight that night and an accidental knock as someone walked past them is all it took to set them off.
‘I can’t imagine what Reece’s family are going through in what has been a difficult year for all, let alone a family who had their son, father and partner taken away from them so cruelly.
‘Although no sentence will ever bring Reece back, I hope they can gain some closure from this knowing that those that caused Reece’s death have been brought to justice.’