Cornwall

Men who shook hands after killing soldier jailed for life

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Media captionCCTV footage showed Connor Hammond and Liam Laing shaking hands after the attack

Two killers filmed shaking hands moments after they beat a 20-year-old soldier to death in the street have been jailed for life.

CCTV footage of Connor Hammond, 21, celebrating the attack with accomplice Liam Laing was released following their sentencing at Truro Crown Court.

Hammond was convicted of murdering Rifleman David Curnow while on a night out in Redruth, Cornwall in September.

Laing, also 21, had previously admitted murder.

Judge Mr Justice Dingemans jailed the pair for life and set a tariff of 16 years for Hammond and 13-and-a-half years for Laing.

Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption Laing (pictured left) pleaded guilty to murder before the trial; Hammond (right) pleaded not guilty but a jury found him guilty of murder on Wednesday

Unprovoked attack

Mr Curnow - believed to be the youngest British soldier to serve in Afghanistan - died after he was set upon by Laing and Hammond after leaving The Zone nightclub in Redruth.

Hammond and Laing left the building at around the same time and appeared behind the soldier and his friend Lee Griffiths.

The trial heard Mr Curnow "went to the ground three times during the attack".

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption The Rifleman served in 4 Rifles Battalion and had completed a tour in Afghanistan

He was found unconscious with head injuries in the Chapel Street area and later died in hospital.

Mr Curnow, who served in 4 Rifles Battalion, also played for West Cornwall Football Club, which described him as a "promising young talent" and "an amazing human being".

The prosecution said that what happened to Mr Curnow was "simple bad luck" and that it was "a case of two young men using unnecessary violence".

Image copyright Becky Hunter
Image caption The football club David Curnow played for called the young man a "promising talent"

Speaking outside court, Det Insp Ben Beckerleg said Mr Curnow had been "minding his own business" on the night he was attacked.

"It was a particularly vicious and unprovoked attack by the two defendants upon David Curnow, who was not looking for a fight".

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