Three jailed for murder of abuse suspect

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The Independent Online

Three men were jailed for life yesterday for murdering a man accused by a nine-year-old boy of sexual assault.

Three men were jailed for life yesterday for murdering a man accused by a nine-year-old boy of sexual assault.

Patrick Moran, 36, Daniel Greaney, 23, Vincent Gill, 26, all from Wembley, north-west London, were convicted at the Old Bailey of murdering William O'Kane, 49, in July last year. They had denied the charge.

The court heard how the three friends smashed up Mr O'Kane's home before they "ferociously" attacked the 49-year-old and left him to die on his bed. A fourth man, Kieran Henry, 21, from Maida Vale, north-west London, was cleared of murder but found guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice. Henry, who had disposed of an iron bar used in the attack, was sentenced to 12 months in prison.

After the three heard of the alleged indecent behaviour by Mr O'Kane they began drinking and talking among themselves, and decided to attack him. Mr O'Kane had just returned from a trip to Lowestoft, Suffolk, when the four arrived.

Michael Worsley QC, for the prosecution, said the sexual assault allegedly suffered by the young boy was a "very nasty attack". However, he said, it would never be known whether the allegation was true as Mr O'Kane, who had no convictions, was not here to put his side of the story.

Mr Worsley told the jury when opening the case: "Even if you assume the worst and that justified severe punishment in law, that does not mean private vengeance is justified. You are not allowed to take the law into your own hands."