Three men convicted of the “ferocious” killing of a 74-year-old Indian-origin jeweller from the city of Leicester were sentenced on Monday ranging from 16 years to life imprisonment for their crime.
Thomas Jervis, 24, and Charles Mcauley, 20, were both sentenced to life imprisonment after being found guilty of Ramniklal Jogiya’s murder during a bungled robbery earlier this year.
Jervis was ordered to serve a minimum of 33 years while Mcauley was ordered to serve a minimum of 30 years behind bars. A third man, 20-year-old Callan Reeve, who had been found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter, was sentenced to 16 years in prison at the Birmingham Crown Court sentencing hearing on Monday.
“These men had planned to kidnap and rob Mr Jogiya, but it went tragically wrong. They launched a sustained and ferocious attack on Mr Jogiya which ultimately killed him,” said Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) David Swift-Rollinson of Leicestershire Police, who led the investigation into the murder.
“Today [Monday’s sentencing] is the result of what has been an extremely intense six-month investigation with two men jailed for the murder of Mr Jogiya and one man for his manslaughter. My thoughts remain with the family of Mr Jogiya and I hope today helps them to feel that some justice has been served. I again thank them for the dignity, patience and co-operation they have shown throughout this nightmare,” he said.
The three men, who had previously admitted the kidnap and robbery of Jogiya but denied murder, were convicted following a five-week trial at the same court on August 8.
The trial had heard how Jervis, Mcauley and Reeve were part of a gang who had spent weeks planning to rob a safe at Jogiya’s jewellery shop in Leicester’s Belgrave Road, referred to as the “Golden Mile” for its string of jewellery shops – many of them owned by Indian-origin traders.
On the evening of January 24 this year, the gang kidnapped the jeweller as he walked home from his shop and bundled him into a stolen van where Jogiya was tortured to hand over the keys to his shop, the code for the alarm and the code for the safe.
CCTV showed that around 50 minutes after Jogiya was kidnapped, a man dressed in a burqa and pulling a shopping trolley entered into the shop. This person was seen to deactivate the shop alarm and go to the back of the shop where Jogiya kept the safe, before emerging a little time later – seemingly empty-handed.
It was later discovered that, despite their meticulous planning, the gang had not realised the safe was on a 12-hour-time delay and therefore they could not get into the safe and to the gold inside it, the court was told.
Driving the terrified jeweller away from the area, the gang threw Jogiya’s phone out of the window before dumping him near Leicester Airfield. The victim was found the next morning and pronounced dead at the scene.
“Just thinking what he had to endure has haunted us during the days and sometimes – worse – during the nights,” Jogiya’s family said in a victim impact statement read out in court.
“The sad reality is nothing could prepare us for when we saw his lifeless body all alone in the mortuary. He had suffered, as we could see from the terrible injuries to his face. Sorry Dad, I’m sorry I couldn’t protect you,” the statement added.
The jeweller had suffered a total of 27 injuries including broken ribs, wounds to his face, hands and arms, and had died from a major brain injury caused by a severe assault to his head. In short, he had been beaten to death.
A six-month investigation into his death saw more than 2,000 lines of enquiry carried out, 600 statements taken and more than 2,400 exhibits gathered, Leicestershire Police said. The case was worked on by 185 police officers and 65 police staff from across five different forces.
“As before, I also thank the many residents and business owners in the Belgrave Road area for their help and cooperation during this tragic time and the many members of the wider public who assisted with our appeals and provided significant information in the case,” said DCI Swift-Rollinson, who also thanked all the police officers for their “exceptional” efforts in bringing the culprits to justice.