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Friday, 13 February 2009

Danny Hockenhull, aged 24, of Hawkshead Road, Grimesthorpe, and Curtis Goring, 27, of Rolleston Road, Firth Park, were yesterday convicted of murder

Danny Hockenhull, aged 24, of Hawkshead Road, Grimesthorpe, and Curtis Goring, 27, of Rolleston Road, Firth Park, were yesterday convicted of murdering 23-year-old Brett Blake after a four week trial.Today they were told they must serve a minimum of 21 years behind bars before being considered for parole.Hockenhull stabbed the father-of-one in his neck before Goring plunged a knife into his stomach in Uniq on Carver Street in Sheffield city centre last June in a pre-planned attack following a series of violent tit-for-tat assaults.Brett, from Longley, who was also armed with a knife himself on the night of the attack, died a short time later in hospital.
Police claim all three men were members of the notorious S3 postcode gang, associated with Burngreave and Pitsmoor, and the death was a result of in-fighting between members.The feud started when Brett was slashed by another gang member and took offence when Hockenhull and Goring failed to take his side.Brett's grieving relatives hugged each other and burst into tears when the killers were convicted. They were told they face life in prison and judge Justice Beatson will set the minimum term they must serve at Sheffield Crown Court today.Speaking outside Sheffield Crown Court they said justice had been done - but nothing could bring Brett back and life for his family would never be the same.His mum Jacqueline Nicholson, 45, said she could not believe two men she had known since they were babies had taken her son's life."Words can't describe how I feel about them - I have known them since they were babies, they were friends with Brett all their lives," she said."It's not hate I feel but contempt, and I just don't know what they were thinking when they pulled out their knives because they not only robbed me of my son and a little girl of her daddy, but they themselves have no lives now either and their mothers have lost their sons - it was a stupid thing to do over a bit of respect."She said she wants people who know of others carrying knives to come forward and report them."Knives come out because people think they can get away with it, there also seems to be this culture where nobody ever speaks up and says who is responsible for these kind of attacks - if more people did start coming forward then people might think twice about carrying them," she added.Natalje Gordon, Brett's partner and mother of his three-year-old daughter, said: "I am happy that they were found guilty because at least we won't have to see them on the streets and we can try to move on, but they are pure evil."At the end of the day they were all friends, for them to turn on him like that is evil."They have never shown any remorse for what they have done."Brett's dad Patrick, who has his son's face tattooed on his chest with the words 'Pain is Love' underneath, said the murder conviction was a hollow victory."This is not a happy day," he said."There are no winners in this, our son is never coming back."Justice has been done but it doesn't alter the fact that Brett is not with us."In a victim impact statement read out to the court, Mr Blake described his son as "a loving person who looked out for his family". He said he was missed by everyone.Detective Superintendent Richard Fewkes, who led the murder probe, said: "The murder of Brett Blake was born out of a gang related dispute."Those involved decided that they would turn to extreme violence and the use of weapons to resolve what was a very minor disrespect issue. This was a complete was of a life."He said Hockenhull and Goring were "chaotic young men leading chaotic lives, with no respect for life".Hockenhull's girlfriend at the time of the murder Carly Lowe, 20, of Farm View Road, Kimberworth, Rotherham and the killer's pal Jamie Dyer, 24, of Parson Cross, Sheffield, were both convicted of assisting an offender.
Lowe got Hockenhull new clothes, a new mobile phone and around £3,000 in cash while he was hiding at her grandmother's house in Wickersley, Rotherham, after the nightclub attack. He was planning on running away to London.Dyer, who worked for Hockenhull and Goring at a car wash they ran, helped Hockenhull by disposing of the clothes he was wearing and the phone he had on the night of the killing.The pair are to be sentenced at a later date once background reports are carried out, with both warned to expect jail.


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