Gary Pocock death: Five guilty of baseball bats killing

Gary Pocock Image copyright Kent Police
Image caption Gary Pocock was found with significant head injuries

Four men and a teenager have been found guilty of beating their friend to death with baseball bats.

The body of Gary Pocock was found half naked on the beach in Leysdown, Kent, in August.

The 34-year-old, who had been out drinking in Sheppey on the night of his death, had been accused by the group of molesting a teenage girl.

Jurors at Maidstone Crown Court found four of the defendants guilty of murder and one of manslaughter.

Christopher James Bones, 21, of Dorothy Gardens, Dagenham, Matthew Terry, 21, and his father Mark Terry, 44, both of Grantham Road in Manor Park, London, were convicted of murder.

A 16-year-old boy from Warden, Sheerness, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was also found guilty of murder.

Jamie West, 19, of Cliffe View Gardens, Warden, was found guilty of manslaughter.

The body of Mr Pocock, from Dagenham in east London, was found with significant head injuries on a secluded part of the beach on 7 August by a man who was out using his metal detector.

Image caption Gary Pocock's body was found on a secluded part of the beach

Officers from Kent Police found two baseball bats, one of which had been broken in two, and a trail of blood nearby.

A police spokesman said Mr Pocock's partner identified him after an image of his distinctive signet ring was released to the media.

The killers, who had been on the night out with Mr Pocock in Leysdown, had led her to believe he had gone off with another woman.

Det Ch Insp Jon Clayden, the senior investigating officer, said: "From start to finish, the web of lies this group attempted to spin to cover up what they had done is nothing short of staggering.

"As far as Gary Pocock was concerned, Mark Terry was as close to a best friend as he had and there was no reason for him to be suspicious of going on a night out around town with him and a selection of friends he knew well.

"Our deepest sympathies remain with Mr Pocock's partner and his family who have had to go through a trial and have what happened that night dragged back up."

The five are due to be sentenced on 9 May.

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