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Man guilty of murder in Lee

News   •   Sep 27, 2019 18:04 BST

Murder victim, Jay Sewell

Five family members are among eight people found guilty of being involved in a premeditated attack which led to the murder of a teenager in Lewisham.

Jay Sewell, aged 18, was fatally stabbed after being attacked by a group of eight people on 11 December 2018.

Following a 16-week trial at the Old Bailey, on Friday, 27 September, Daniel Grogan, 21 (19.09.98) of Sibthorpe Road, SE12 was found guilty of murdering Jay.

Charlie Dudley, 26 (07.09.93) of Sibthorpe Road, SE12, Ann Grogan, 54 (20.12.64) and Robert Grogan, 57 (31.12.61) were found guilty of manslaughter.

Francesca Grogan, 30 (13.03.89), Jamie Bennett, 31 (15.10.87) and Liam Hickey, 19 (19.01.00) of Crown Woods Way, SE9 were found guilty of violent disorder.

Daniel, Ann, Robert and Francesca Grogan and Jamie Bennett lived at the same address in Sibthorpe Road, SE12. Charlie Dudley also lived in Sibthorpe Road, but at a different address.

Robert and Ann Grogan are parents of Daniel and Francesca Grogan. Liam Hickey is a cousin of Daniel and Francesca. Bennett was a boyfriend of Francesca Grogan.

A 17-year-old boy (16 at the time of the incident) [F] from Greenwich was also found guilty of violent disorder.

They will be sentenced at the Old Bailey at a later date, expected to be in November.

The court heard how, in the week before the attack, Daniel Grogan had become increasingly jealous of Jay - who was dating his ex-girlfriend - and had made repeated threats to kill Jay and had attacked Jay’s girlfriend two days before his death.

At around 21:50hrs on 11 December 2018, Jay had travelled with some friends and his girlfriend, to meet Daniel Grogan at Alwold Crescent, SE12. Their intention was to stop Daniel Grogan threatening and harassing Jay’s girlfriend.

Here Jay and his friends were ambushed by the defendants, who left the address in Sibthorpe Rd armed with knives, hammers, wood and an axe.

Jay was stabbed along with another 18-year-old man (Victim 2). The two victims were taken to a south London hospital suffering from stab injuries.

Jay died in hospital at 22.34hrs that evening. A post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as a single stab wound to the chest. He was stabbed a further two times in the legs.

The second victim was subsequently discharged from hospital.

Daniel Grogan, Robert Grogan, Charlie Dudley and Liam Hickey were also found guilty on 27 September of GBH with intent on the second victim.

Detectives from the Met’s Specialist Crime command launched a murder investigation led by Detective Chief Inspector Simon Harding.

Officers seized CCTV footage and conducted an extensive forensic search of the area. As a result of the search, two hammers, a block of wood and a knife were found.

Detective Chief Inspector Simon Harding said: “This was a premediated attack. It was quick, vicious and incredibly cowardly.

“Having armed themselves with deadly weapons, they attacked Jay and his friend like a pack of wolves and they knew their plans would have horrendous consequences for anyone standing in their way that evening.

“My team and I would like to thank the witnesses who came forward and helped secure these convictions. Their evidence was crucial to the investigation. I would also like to thank my team, the CPS and prosecuting counsel for their hard work and determination in this difficult and complex investigation.

“But most importantly, Jay’s family have had to wait for justice since that dreadful night in December. They have also had to sit through more than three months of this trial. There is nothing that anyone can do or say to bring Jay back to them, however I sincerely hope that these convictions can provide some form of comfort to Jay’s family and friends.”

Jay’s mother, Sharon Louch, said in the family’s impact statement: “It breaks my heart to know that Jay will never be able to fulfil his dreams.

“He is my first thought when I wake up and last before I go to bed. I try my hardest to shield my children from the pain, but I can’t do it. They all know they will never see their brother again.

“It’s been nearly ten months since that day in December, each one proving as hard as that before it. The trial lasted for what seemed an eternity, I pray I never have anything to compare it to.

“We as a family have taken whatever steps are necessary to ensure we have been there to support Jay and show him we care. I have not worked and had so much time away from my children at a place in their lives when they need me the most.

“There is no sentence this court or any other can pass which can come close to healing the pain or make up for not being able to look at my Jay’s face or hear him laugh. I haven’t come here expecting or wanting it to. However it does provide a glimmer of hope that those responsible have been held to account for their actions.

“Jay you were a blessing and made us proud from the day you came to us until the moment you were taken.”

= On Thursday, 18 July, Peter Grogan, 22 (07.11.1996) of Sibthorpe Road, SE12 was found not guilty of murder, GBH with intent and violent disorder at the same court.