Three attackers who murdered a man, 22, outside his own house on Halloween are jailed for life
- Tuviah Thompson-Hordle, Charles Lynch, and Carlos Fonseca were jailed for life
- The court previously heard that Reece Heffernan, 18, was stabbed in the chest
- Reece’s father Nicholas said the family were ‘all so happy’ before the tragedy
Three attackers who murdered a 22-year-old man outside his own home on Halloween were jailed for life.
Tuviah Thompson-Hordle, Charles Lynch, and Carlos Fonseca appeared before a judge following a five-week trial leading to the group’s murder conviction after two of them launched a knife attack.
The court previously heard how Fonseca, 24, and Thompson-Hordle, 18, plotted to attack 22-year-old Reece Heffernan in Tilehurst, Reading, where he was fatally stabbed in the chest.
Defendant Madison Henderson, 19, of Kings Road, Reading, was convicted of conspiring to pervert the course of justice by hiding the evidence and with conspiracy to supply a class B controlled drug.
Damian Wozniak, 19, also of Kings Road, previously admitted the same two charges at a previous hearing.
In addition Hamzah Ahmed, 19, was cleared of murder but previously admitted one count of conspiracy to supply class B drugs.
Three attackers Charles Lynch (left), Tuviah Thompson-Hordle (centre), and Carlos Fonseca (right) were jailed for life following a five-week trial leading to the group’s murder conviction after two of them launched a knife attack
Reece Heffernan, 22, died from a fatal stab wound after being attacked in in Romany Lane in Tilehurst, Reading, on 31 October
Umer Arshad, 24, was also cleared of conspiring to pervert the course of justice and conspiracy to supply drugs.
In a victim statement read to the court, Mr Heffernan’s father Nicholas, said: ‘On October 31, Reece and I were together, we were talking about going to Spain on holiday with his brothers. We were all so happy.
‘That was the last time I saw Reece alive. One hour later the police told me he was dead. I live my life in a daydream. I find myself staring into space thinking about his death.’
Defending Lynch, Tyrone Smith said: ‘This was a group attack. There were two people armed with knives and it is accepted that one of those people was Charles. There was an element of planning. There is no evidence that he arranged the car.’
Defending Thompson-Hordle, Louise Sweet said: ‘No-one can fail to be moved by the statements read out in this court. He accepts a significant role. At the time of the offending it was only a few week after his 18th birthday.’
Defending Fonseca, Tom Godfrey said: ‘He came into criminality and tragically it was that involvement in criminality that led to the awful offence on October last year.’
Judge Heather Norton who was sentencing said: ‘Each of you pleaded not guilty to murder but were found guilty by a jury because of what was overwhelming evidence. Each of you either directly contributed to the attack or were otherwise involved.
‘After the killing, each of you took steps to dispose of items involved in the killing. I also have to sentence you all for conspiracy to supply class B drugs.
‘On October 31, 2021, shortly after 10.30pm the three of you all drove up and down the road in an MG car. Outside Romany Road, Reading, three men were standing.
‘The MG, driven by Fonseca, drove up and down the road three times and on the fourth occasion, you stopped outside No 12. Your two passengers immediately got out of the car and onto the path to the house. All of you were wearing full facemasks.
‘Lynch and Hordle were armed with knives. You both launched an attack and Reece Heffernan was killed in that attack. A post-morterm examination report claims there was only one stab wound, but CCTV shows that multiple blows were struck or attempted.
‘The car was then driven by Fonseca to Woodley – together with Wosniak and Henderson, you set about disposing of the evidence including clothing, masks, weapons, phones and the car.
The court previously heard how Fonseca, 24, and Thompson-Hordle, 18, plotted to attack 22-year-old Reece Heffernan in Tilehurst, Reading, where he was fatally stabbed in the chest
‘Fonseca took the MG to a car yard with a co-defendant who set about concealing identifying features of the vehicle. Hordle and Lynch then cut your hair to avoid detection and Fonseca repeatedly changed addresses.
‘What the reasons were for killing Mr Heffernan are for the most part a cause for speculation. I do not, in any way, treat Reece Heffernan as having any responsibility for what happened to him. He must not be viewed in any other way than as a victim of an appalling crime.’
Fonseca, of Fawn Drive, Three Mile Cross, Berks., was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 27 years. He will have to serve the full minimum term before he is eligible to be considered for parole, and if he is granted parole, he will remain on licence for the rest of his life.
Thompson-Hordle, of Brant Close, Arborfield, Berks., was jailed for life with a minimum term of 24 years imprisonment. He will also have to serve the full minimum term before he is eligible to be considered for parole and if he is granted parole, he too will remain on licence for the rest of his life.
Lynch, of Earley, Reading, Berks., was jailed for a minimum term of 20 years. He will also have to serve the full minimum term before he is eligible to be considered for parole and he will remain on license for the rest of his life.
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