Life sentences for murderous gang who killed Reece Ottaway in botched Northampton drugs robbery
Just two days after their conviction on Wednesday, four young men have been jailed for life for breaking down the door to a Northampton flat and brutally stabbing a 23-year-old man to death.
The greatest sentences went to Jordan Crowley, 21, and Adison Smith, 20 - two vicious wannabe gangsters who posed for pictures with machetes and led the break-in at Reece's flat.
They will serve a minimum of 34 years and 30 years in prison respectively.
In fact, the life sentences handed down to Crowley and Smith and their co-defendants - Cameron Higgs, 20, and Alfie Drage, 20 - is longer than any of them has been alive.
Also jailed was Ethan Stirling, 22, who was convicted of conspiracy to rob and manslaughter, who was sentenced to 14 years in prison.
The five men broke into Reece's flat at Cordwainer House, St James, in the early hours of February 1.
At Northampton Crown Court today (Nov 1), Her Honour Judge Adrienne Lucking said: "All five of you joined in a conspiracy to rob Reece, expecting him to have received a delivery of drugs and possess up to £30,000.
"You armed yourselves with weapons including a machete, other types of large knives and a BB gun."
The group kicked down Reece's door as the 23-year-old was sleeping and surrounded him.
But in the chaotic two minutes that followed, Reece was stabbed seven times in what prosecutor Mr David Herbert QC called a "berserk" attack.
After breaking in to steal up to £30,000, the five men fled the flat with their spoils - a £10 note and an iPhone.
Tragically, Reece Ottaway died in the living room despite the urgent assistance of paramedics.
Smith, Drage, Higgs and Crowley - who is also known as Jordan Kimpton - were convicted of murder on Wednesday.
Throughout the trial, the four young men sniggered and muttered as their crimes were read out. At the sentencing, Higgs refused to attend court and Crowley swore at members of the public as he left the dock.
The judge said of Crowley: "You have embraced a violent criminal lifestyle centred around drugs and gangs.
"Your group viewed Reece as a rival drug dealer."
She also said of Smith: "You, too, have embraced a violent lifestyle. You may be a follower rather than a leader, but you are an enthusiastic follower, happy to use serious and lethal violence."
Higgs and Drage were both sentenced to a minimum of 27 years in prison.
Meanwhile, Stirling reportedly spoke to Reece's mother Charlotte Marshall on the morning of the sentencing. She told the court the 22-year-old had expressed "genuine remorse" for his part in her son's death. He was jailed for 14 years.