Black Country men jailed for at least 25 years for Hereford murder
Two Black Country men have been jailed for life for the murder of Hereford man Robert Eacock.
Anthony Boyd, of Circuit Close, Willenhall, and Artaf Hussain, of Slater Street, Tipton, have been sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum of 25 years.
Robert was stabbed in broad daylight as he waited to cross the road in Hereford on January 29.
The 33-year-old tried to pursue his attacker – but collapsed and later died in hospital.
Footage revealed a further encounter between the two in Commercial Street, with its junction at Blue School Street.
In full view of passers-by, Boyd, 23, rushed towards the victim from behind and stabbed him once in the back. Boyd then ran from the scene.
The police investigation revealed that in the hours after the stabbing, Boyd left Hereford and travelled to Tipton where he met up with Hussain, 31, at the flat of an associate Luke Mansell.
Knowing the crime Boyd had committed, Mansell, 21, of High Street, Tipton, proceeded to provide him with a change of clothing. Mansell was charged with assisting an offender and entered a guilty plea at an earlier court hearing – he is yet to be sentenced.
Witness evidence suggested Robert may have been stabbed by a drug dealer who was operating a supply line into Hereford, in partnership with a man who was later identified as Artaf Hussain.
In court, Hussain claimed he did not have any contact with Boyd around the time of the murder and did not take part in any discussion or agreement to harm the victim.
Boyd had entered a guilty plea for manslaughter which was not accepted by the prosecution. He claimed that he did not buy the knife with the intention of killing him or causing serious harm to him.
A jury at Worcester Crown Court found the pair guilty of the murder on Friday. They were sentenced on Monday.
DCI Leighton Harding, senior investigating officer, said: "Robert Eacock was murdered by Boyd, a drug dealer, in a deliberate act of violence. At the time of the murder, Boyd had been operating as a county lines drug dealer for Hussain.
"The victim's initial encounter with Boyd on the morning of January 29, started a chain of events that involved two-way mobile phone communication between Boyd and Hussain, and an agreement between them or encouragement for Boyd to harm the victim.
"This resulted in Robert being brutally murdered in broad daylight, and in the most public of locations."
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