GUILTY: Jury convicts four young men of murdering Reece Ottaway in Northampton flat

Four young men have been found guilty of kicking down the door to a flat in Northampton and murdering Reece Ottaway in a "berserk" attack with a machete and a knife.

Wednesday, 30th October 2019, 4:42 pm
Reece Ottaway was murdered by four young men who broke into his flat with a plan to rob him of drugs and money.
Reece Ottaway was murdered by four young men who broke into his flat with a plan to rob him of drugs and money.

A jury at Northampton Crown Court have today (October 30) convicted five young men over the death of 23-year-old Reece Ottaway at Cordwainer House in February 1.

After five weeks of evidence, the jury ruled all five men played a part in killing Reece after breaking into the flat in a botched plan to rob him of drugs and money.

The four men convicted of murder today are:

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Reece was stabbed seven times in the early morning attack at Cordwainer House on February 1.

- Adison Smith, 20, of no fixed address, who barristers say attacked Reece with the machete in 'a rage' after he was stabbed in the leg soon after entering the flat.

- Jordan Crowley (also known as Jordan Kimpton), aged 21, of Sam Harrison Way, Duston, who likely held a BB gun to Reece's head and encouraged the killing.

- Cameron Higgs, 20, of Chestnut Close, Milton Malsor, who carried a knife to the flat

- Alfie Drage, 20, of Clover Street, who was accused of wielding a baseball bat in the flat

The five men will be jailed on Friday (November 1).

Meanwhile, Ethan Stirling, 21, of Baukewell Court, Lumbertubs, was found guilty of manslaughter and conspiracy to rob. The jury rejected his claim that he waited outside the flat holding a rucksack while the murder took place.

Reece Ottaway, 23, died in the early hours of February 1 this year after he was savagely attacked and stabbed seven times in the living room of a flat he was staying in.

All five men convicted today wore masks as they entered Cordwainer House in the early hours of February 1 before breaking down the door to Reece's flat.

The court heard how the attackers expected to rob the 23-year-old - who sold cannabis - of as much as £30,000.

But soon after breaking into the flat, Reece likely tried to defend himself and his girlfriend, who was also in the flat with him.

The jury today ruled that in the chaotic minutes that followed, Smith, Higgs, Kimpton and Drage attacked Reece and savagely beat and stabbed him to death using a machete, a knife, a BB gun and potentially a baseball bat.

During the events, Smith was also stabbed in the leg and the five escaped in Stirling's Seat Ibiza.

All five denied murder, although all the defendants except Stirling pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob Reece and did not deny they were in the flat that night.

All five will be sentenced at Northampton Crown Court this Friday (November 1).