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Gang jailed for fatal Coleshill attempted robbery

Danny White, left, Spencer Howell and Troy Skidmore
Image caption Warwickshire Police said the gang targeted lorry drivers around the West Midlands

Three members of a gang that tried to rob a Greek lorry driver who stabbed one of them to death have been jailed.

Dean Skidmore, 36, of Brierley Hill, died at Station Road Industrial Estate in Coleshill on 26 February 2009.

Vasileios Nikolakopoulos, 42, was arrested but not charged.

At Coventry Crown Court, Spencer Howell, 35, of West Bromwich, received 10 years, Danny White, of Bilston, five, and Troy Skidmore, 17, of Brierley Hill, four.

All were found guilty of conspiracy to rob and assault with intent to rob.

'Honestly and instinctively'

Reporting restrictions on identifying Troy Skidmore, Dean Skidmore's son, were lifted.

After sentencing, Supt Adrian McGee, of Warwickshire Police, said the attack was one of a number of similar offences targeting lorries committed by the gang throughout the West Midlands.

He said Mr Nikolakopoulos thought he was going to be killed in the attack and did what he "honestly and instinctively" thought necessary to defend himself.

"This unfortunately led to the death of Dean Skidmore, one of his attackers," he said.

"A thorough police investigation was conducted into the circumstances of this incident and a file submitted to the CPS in relation to the death of Dean Skidmore. No charges were considered appropriate against Mr Nikolakopoulos.

"The sentences handed down today adequately reflect the level of violence used by this gang in this robbery."

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