Prosecutors say they hope today’s verdicts in the Paul Thrower murder trial will bring ‘some small comfort to Mr Thrower’s family’.
“Our thoughts are with them at this time,” said the Crown Prosecution Service in a statement immediately after the verdicts were read out, as Kiro Halliburton, Zakariya Subeir and Mahdi Osman, all now 18, were convicted this afternoon (Monday, November 24).
Halliburton, of Tollgate Drive, Hayes, was convicted of murder.
His co-accused, Subeir, of Rockingham Road, Uxbridge, and Osman, of Hoskins Close, Hayes, were convicted of manslaughter and all three will be sentenced next month.
In a three-week trial, the Old Bailey had heard how Mr Thrower became ‘absolutely enraged’ after his girlfriend, Geraldine Roberts, was abused and spat at by the gang on the evening of Thursday, February 20 close to his flat in St Dunstan’s Close in Hayes.
Mr Thrower, 46, threatened to skin the gang ‘like rabbits’ and became ‘absolutely enraged’, chasing two of them into a rubbish chute area.
But the thugs set upon him with an axe and a knife. He suffered three deep wounds to the head and shoulder along with 10 stab wounds to his back and upper body.
The fatal knife wound pierced his lung and heart and he collapsed minutes later as he returned to his flat.
CCTV cameras captured Mr Thrower trying to smash through the glass panels with his bare hands before kicking a way through.
As he crawled through the opening into the enclosed area he was attacked.
Prosecutor Peter Finnegan QC had told the court: “As he came through, he had absolutely no chance “Terrible wounds were inflicted upon him. His skull was fractured. He was stabbed multiple times. Many of the wounds struck bone.
“His heart was pierced by a stab thrust through his ribs.”
The defendants had argued they used ‘proportionate force’ in order to defend themselves, but the prosecuton rubbished the claim, saying they had been ‘up for it’ on the night in question.
“Nobody was going to run them off the estate that night, least of all the enraged Paul Thrower and his girlfriend Geraldine Roberts”, said Mr Finnegan.
Judge John Bevan QC said the attackers each played a different part in the attack and ordered pre-sentence reports for all three, warning them they faced imprisonment.
“Halliburton is inevitably ‘detention at Her Majesty’s pleasure’, and for the others, determinate sentences,” he said.