Three teenagers convicted of 'Reservoir Dogs' murder of friend

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The Independent Online

Three teenagers were convicted yesterday of murdering a 15-year-old boy whose naked and mutilated body was left in a children's playing field.

Three teenagers were convicted yesterday of murdering a 15-year-old boy whose naked and mutilated body was left in a children's playing field.

Allan Bentley and Mark McKeefrey, who were 15 at the time, and Graham Neary, 16, savagely battered Michael Moss and re-enacted a scene from the film Reservoir Dogs by trying to cut off his left ear. They used a broken bottle.

The three killers were ordered to be detained at Her Majesty's Pleasure and will be locked up at a young offenders' institution until they are old enough to go to an adult jail.

The sustained two-hour attack on 13 November last year in Litherland, Merseyside, was prompted by jealousy over a girl, Liverpool Crown Court was told during the 17-day trial.

The prosecution said the teenagers indulged in an orgy of drunken violence, leaving their victim in Moss Lane playing fields with more than 100 injuries, including more than 49 stabs and cuts from the broken vodka bottle.

He suffered 10 fractured ribs and multiple fractures to the bones in his face. The two spinal vertebrae where the neck meets the base of the skull had also been separated by a kick. A pathologist said Michael died from head injuries and multiple injuries, resulting from kicking, stamping and stabbing with the bottle. McKeefrey tried to act out a violent scene from the Quentin Tarantino-directed cult movie Reservoir Dogs.

Anthony Gee QC, for the prosecution, said the motive for the attack had been "festering jealousy" and "a desire for revenge" by Bentley whose former girlfriend had started to go out with Michael.

The jury delivered a unanimous guilty verdict on Bentley and McKeefrey, now 16, after 12 hours, and a 10-2 majority verdict on Neary after nearly 16 hours. They come from the Litherland, Crosby and Bootle areas of Merseyside.

All five women members of the jury wept as the third and final verdict was delivered.

Bentley and McKeefrey showed no emotion when they were convicted, but Neary was in tears as he was hugged and consoled in the dock by his weeping mother. She was escorted from the court. During sentencing, the judge, Mr Justice Penry-Davey, said Michael Moss was subjected to "sustained and appalling violence".

He continued: "You, Bentley and McKeefrey, lured Michael Moss out on that night, you stripped him naked and, in due course, the three of you killed him. Having attacked and injured him so that he was unable to move, you left him, and later the three of you went to the scene where the appalling violence continued.

"As a result of that attack, Michael Moss sustained appalling multiple injuries, internally and externally, as a result of which he died." The judge lifted an order banning identification of the three murderers.

Liz Moss, the dead boy's mother, said: "They have destroyed our lives. It is the whole family. I will never forgive them. They are evil and sadistic."

Michael had been taken into voluntary care in October 1998 because of emotional problems after the deaths of his father, grandfather and grandmother.