The gang have been found guilty of the charge of manslaughter, but cleared of the charge of murder and will be sentenced toward the end of January. Their convictions also included a charge of causing "grievous bodily harm".
The victim's father, Jeff Morley, is understandably angry that his son's murder was described as a "happy slapping" killing and is quoted as saying:
"It makes me angry that it's described as happy slapping because that makes it sound as if it was something not very serious, what actually happened to David was a lot more than slapping."
- yes, they did a lot more than that, they killed him! Quite why the agressors have been found guilty of manslaughter and not murder is beyond my simple understanding.
A tragic aspect tangential to this vicious killing is that Mr Morley had survived the horrific attack on the Admiral Duncan pub in Old Compton Street in April 1999, where Mr Morley was then employed as a barman. The blast had killed 3 and injured 73 in this area with a high concentration of gay businesses. The blast was perpetrated by David Copeland, a racist homophobe who was sentenced in July 2000 to 6 life terms and is serving his sentence in Broadmoor top security hospital, for what is quaintly described as a "personality disorder" - a more accurate term for this man is, in my view, an evil 'complete and utter nutter'.
PS/ The Blogger host was 'playing up' when I tried to publish this before going to bed last night - let's see if it's working better now ...
UPDATE: (Saturday 17DEC05 12.10 GMT) An assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police has voiced his disappointment at the 'manslaughter' convictions when his work with the CPS on the case led him to believe that convictions for 'murder' would have been appropriate. I have written my views on this development here.
2nd UPDATE: (Monday 23JAN06 23.55 GMT) The four killers have now been sentenced - three get 12 years, and the fourth gets 8 years.