Boxer jailed after slicing off man's ear in ‘Reservoir Dogs’-style killing

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The Independent Online

A top boxer originally from Belfast has been jailed indefinitely for the ‘Reservoir Dogs'-style killing of a man who owed him money in London.

Ricky Beesley, 23, fought for England, was crowned Amateur Boxer of the Year and had a “golden future” ahead of him.

He was coached by three-times world champion Duke McKenzie and was about to turn professional, the Old Bailey heard.

Beesley, fellow boxer Tony Coyle, 24, and 25-year-old John Cotter sliced off Lloyd Lilley's ear after ambushing him in a flat.

He was stabbed in the leg and thrown out into the street where he collapsed drenched in blood in front of horrified neighbours.

Mr Lilley, 21, had been lured to the home of Cotter in Mitcham to see Beesley, described in court as a “loan shark”.

He suffered massive blood loss resulting in two cardiac arrests and a stroke.

The victim, from Carshalton, Surrey, died four days later in St George's Hospital, Tooting, south London.

His ear was found by police wrapped in a vest and concealed among rubbish on the kitchen floor in an empty Frosties cereal packet.

The three killers were facing trial for murder in April, but their guilty pleas to manslaughter were accepted by prosecutors before a jury was sworn at the Old Bailey yesterday.

They were given indeterminate sentences for public protection (IPP) and each told to serve a minimum of eight years. As he was led to the cells Beesley, whose family come from the Falls Road in Belfast, raised his fists to the public gallery.

Judge Paul Worsley QC said: “You lured your victim Lloyd Lilley who was then 21 to the flat of John Cotter.

“There was significant pre-meditation involved in bringing him to the flat where I am satisfied you had each decided painful punishment was to be inflicted upon him, it is said, in respect of a debt that he owed you.” The court heard Beesley, a former Kent and south east London boxing champion, called Mr Lilley to Cotter's flat in Pains Close, Mitcham, on February 25 last year.

His former girlfriend Charlotte Folan told police the victim had borrowed money from loan sharks and regularly made payments to them.

Mr Lilley arrived in a taxi from his home in Carshalton, Surrey, at 7pm and told the driver to wait for him. Within a few minutes Mr Lilley staggered out of the flat and collapsed.

He was rushed to St George's hospital, but despite efforts to save his life he died on February 29.

Cotter, Coyle and Beesley, all admitted manslaughter.

From The Belfast Telegraph