Issued on 8/8/18 at 4:20 p.m.
Three men have today (Wednesday 8 August) been found guilty of the ruthless killing of a 74-year-old Leicester jeweller.
The gang had spent weeks planning to rob a safe at Ramniklal Jogiya’s jewellery shop in the city’s Belgrave Road.
On the evening of 24 January this year they kidnapped him as he walked home, having locked up his shop for the night. After bundling him into a stolen van, they launched an horrific attack forcing him to hand over the keys to his shop, and torturing him until he told them the shop’s alarm de-activation code and – critically – the combination code for a safe.
But despite their meticulous planning, they had not realised the safe was on a 12-hour delay, and they could not get into it.
The terrified jeweller was then dumped and left to die alone in the middle of the countryside.
The detective who led the investigation to catch them said their “horrific and brutal” crime “all but defied description”.
DCI David Swift-Rollinson said: “Rarely have I investigated a crime so wicked and ruthless. The depravity, inhumanity and utter contempt they showed for their victim has caused untold anguish for his family and stunned the whole community.
“The only possible comfort left for the family is that the people responsible for this terrible crime will now be locked up for a very long time.”
Following a five-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court, Thomas Jervis, 24, of Enderby Road, Whetstone, Leicester, and Charles Frances Mcauley, 20, of Gooding Avenue, Leicester, were both found guilty of murder. They had previously admitted kidnap and robbery.
Callan Reeve, 20, of Biddle Road, Leicester, was found guilty of manslaughter. He too had previously pleaded guilty to kidnap and robbery.
All three defendants were remanded into custody and will be sentenced on Monday 10 September.
A fourth defendant - Javon Roach, 30, of Norwich Road, Leicester - was acquitted of kidnap, robbery and murder.
At around 7.45pm on the evening of 24 January this year, 74-year-old Ramniklal Jogiya locked up his jewellers shop in Belgrave Road and, as he did every night, set off on his short walk home.
But he didn’t arrive, and by 8pm his family knew something terrible was wrong.
Having visited the shop, phoned his mobile phone, and made other enquiries, the family raised the alarm and a major investigation was launched.
Tragically, around 10am the following morning, the body of the loving husband and devoted father of three was found beside Leicester Airfield.
What had begun as a missing person inquiry immediately became a murder investigation.
Mr Jogiya had suffered a total of 27 injuries including broken ribs, wounds to his face, hands and arms, and had died from a major brain injury caused by a severe assault to his head. In short, he had been beaten to death.
During the six-month investigation, officers found CCTV images of Mr Jogiya locking up the jewellers and beginning his walk home on the evening of 24 January. Other images showed three men jumping out of a white Transit van which had been parked on Brandon Street and bundling the terrified shopkeeper into the vehicle.
Further images showed that, about 50 minutes later, a man dressed in a burka and pulling a shopping trolley entered Mr Jogiya’s shop. This person was seen to deactivate the shop alarm, go to the back of the shop where Mr Jogiya kept a safe, before emerging a little time later - seemingly empty-handed.
DCI Swift-Rollinson said: “These men had planned to kidnap and rob Mr Jogiya, but it went tragically wrong. They launched a sustained and ferocious attack on Mr Jogiya which ultimately killed him.
“Mr Jogiya’s safe was set with a 12-hour delay every night when he went home, and even with the right combination code no-one could have accessed it until 12 hours later. Realising they couldn’t get access to the Asian gold he kept in the safe, the gang drove away from the scene, empty-handed, throwing their victim’s phone out of the window in the countryside.
“At some point they decided to dump Mr Jogiya in the middle of the open countryside, knowing he was a long way from help.
“Although he was still alive at this point, the injuries he had suffered were so severe that he could not be saved.
“Mr Jogiya was a kind, gentle and devoted family man. I cannot begin to imagine the horror he must have felt as the events of that ghastly night unfolded.
“Jervis, Mcauley and Reeve were responsible for the savage beating of a defenceless, elderly man and they left him to die. It almost defies words what they did to him.
“My thoughts, first and foremost, remain with Mr Jogiya’s family. I thank them for their co-operation and patience with the investigation team, and I cannot praise more highly the dignity they have shown throughout this nightmare. I can only hope that the verdicts of the jury will bring them some, small, solace.
“In addition, I want to thank the many residents and business owners in the Belgrave Road area for their help and co-operation during this tragic time. What happened that night in January was truly shocking, and I know the awful impact it had on many sections of the community.
“There were many members of the wider public who assisted with our appeals and provided significant information in the case. They too deserve recognition and thanks.
“This was an extensive investigation to find the people responsible for Mr Jogiya’s death and a team of officers and staff from different forces worked tirelessly on it.
“During the past six months we have examined CCTV, analysed vehicle movements, carried out phone work, spoken to witnesses and appealed for information, among other work, and I want to thank all of those involved for their hard work which has led to the convictions today.”