England

Five men jailed over Jesse Richards' death

Jesse Richards
Image caption Jesse Richards was last seen during a business trip

Five men have been jailed over the death of a father-of-three from Surrey, who police said died because of a drugs debt.

Jesse Richards, 40, was last seen in Worcestershire in July 2009.

He was attacked in the Cleeve Prior area and his body, which has not been found, was taken to Warwickshire to be disposed of, West Mercia Police said.

Two of the men sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court admitted manslaughter and another was convicted of the offence.

'Mark of respect'

Kevin John Huston, 50, of Longford Road, Coventry, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and obstructing a coroner and was jailed for a total of 19 years.

James Doe, 38, of Broomfield Road, Coventry, admitted manslaughter and blackmail and was sentenced to 18-and-a-half years.

Matthew Robert Taylor, 29, from Wyken Way, Coventry, was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 13 years.

Joseph Doe, 37, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to assisting an offender and was jailed for four years.

David Butler, 26, from Drift Way, Colnbrook, Slough, pleaded guilty to obstructing a coroner and was sentenced to four years in prison.

'Constant grief'

Time on remand for the five men was taken into consideration.

A reward of £10,000 is on offer for anyone who can lead police to the location of Mr Richards' body, the West Mercia force said.

He was last seen during a business trip.

In a statement released by police, his mother, Lucy Richards, said: "I have worn black since Jesse was taken and will continue as a mark of respect in my constant state of grief.

"My sadness drives me to search for Jesse on a daily basis."

In the statement, Mr Richards' wife, Amy Richards, said: "We just want Jesse back so we can lay him to rest and say goodbye.

"I'm pleased the men have been convicted of doing wrong but why cannot they now do something right and tell us where Jesse is?"

Det Ch Insp Mark Loader, who led the investigation for West Mercia Police, said it was "a brutal attack on an unarmed, passive, family man".

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