Journalist tortured man to death in front of his children

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The Independent Online

An undercover reporter who worked for the BBC and Channel 4 was found guilty yesterday of the murder of a man who was tortured to death in front of his children.

An undercover reporter who worked for the BBC and Channel 4 was found guilty yesterday of the murder of a man who was tortured to death in front of his children.

James Raven, 44, subjected a drug dealer, Brian Waters, to "systematic and barbaric torture" at a farm in Tabley, Cheshire, last year.

With his adult son and daughter tied up and forced to watch, Mr Waters, 44, was beaten, whipped, burnt and attacked with a staple gun. He was hung upside down and sexually assaulted with an iron bar, causing fatal internal injuries.

A jury at Chester Crown Court found Raven, of Bolton, Greater Manchester, guilty of murder and conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm.

His co-defendant John Wilson, 55, of Glossop, Derbyshire, was found guilty of the same charges. Ashley Guishard, 30, of Sale, Greater Manchester, was cleared of all charges.

The jury was sent home for the night after failing to reach a verdict on Otis Matthews, 27, of Manchester, who is charged with the same offences. It will continue its deliberations today.

Wilson had ordered the attack after falling out with Mr Waters over a debt.

Raven worked on programmes including the BBC's Macintyre Uncovered and Crooked Britain, as well as Channel 4's Sleepers. BBC producers knew Raven had convictions for violence but believed he was a reformed character. The corporation said yesterday that Raven was not working for it at the time of the attack.