iPhone robbers guilty of Keith Soons murder

Keith Soons - Gloucestershire Police
Image caption Keith Soons died on 5 February

Two men have been found guilty of murdering a 36-year-old Gloucester man after taking his iPhone.

Keith Soons was stabbed in the head with a screwdriver and died on 5 February, Bristol Crown Court was told.

Ricky Smith, 27, of Fairview Road, Gloucester, and Michael Sexton, 28, of Moors Avenue, were convicted after a trial.

Smith was also found guilty of robbery while Sexton had admitted that offence at a previous hearing.

'Callous nature'

Sentencing will take place at Bristol Crown Court on Thursday after the unanimous verdict.

During the trial, the jury heard that both men admitted being at the scene of the attack in Wellington Lane, but blamed each other for delivering the fatal blow.

Mr Soons was found by a passer-by but died from his injuries later that day.

Det Supt Simon Atkinson said: "This is one of the most harrowing cases I have had to deal with in my 23 years of policing.

"The cold, callous nature of Smith and Sexton meant a young man in the prime of his life was left to die on a cold back street, all for the sake of a mobile phone.

False alibi

"These two men made no attempt to get him the help he so desperately needed."

Mr Soons was living in Gloucester with his partner Sam Ramsey and their baby daughter at the time of his murder.

He had lived in Cheltenham before this and grew up and went to school in Cirencester.

Smith, known to his friends as Ricky, was a self-confessed "professional" car thief and Sexton, nicknamed Puppet, had previously been jailed for attacking a love-rival with a knife.

Smith's girlfriend Carolanne Williams made a statement to the police giving him an alibi for the night of the attack.

She pleaded guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice and is awaiting sentence.

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