Boy drug dealer guilty of stab murder

THE devastated partner of a murder victim from Essex has made a plea for “everyone to take a stand” against knife crime.

James Hore

THE devastated partner of a murder victim from Essex has made a plea for “everyone to take a stand” against knife crime.

Rachel Murphy spoke-out after a 17-year-old drug dealer was yesterday convicted of killing her boyfriend, Alan Reilly, who was stabbed to death with a large kitchen knife following a row in Bocking, Braintree.

Father-to-be Mr Reilly, 25, was stabbed nine times and the force of the blows was so severe that the knife cut through his bones in the “savage” attack last April.

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The killer, then aged just 16, fled but was arrested a month later after detectives found his finger prints on a plastic sheath belonging to the murder weapon.

The youngster from Hackney, East London, initially made no comment during three days of interviews, but later admitted killing crack-cocaine addict Mr Reilly, claiming it was in self-defence.

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But he was found guilty of murder following a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court, and will be sentenced in July once psychiatric reports are completed.

After returning its unanimous verdict following a day of deliberation the jury of six men and six women were told about the teenager's string of previous convictions for knife crime.

The black youth, who cannot be named because of his age, was first arrested by police when he was 14 and had been carrying a knife whilst shoplifting.

Then three times in 2007 he was caught in possession of a knife, or his “shank” as he called it, and was sentenced to four months in juvenile detention after an attempted theft and failure to surrender when he had, again, been carrying a knife.

During the trial the jury was told the teenager travelled to Essex with the soul intention of supplying class-A drugs.

However, Mr Reilly became furious when the dealer could not supply crack cocaine and the pair rowed before Mr Reilly head-butted him, leaving the teenager bloodied and bruised.

Angry at “losing face” in front of his friends, he plotted to get his revenge, taking a large meat knife from a nearby flat.

Later that evening he repeatedly stabbed Mr Reilly who managed to stagger towards a friend's house before collapsing in the road, but despite the efforts of police and a doctor, he died at about 10.30pm.

Speaking after the guilty verdict, Miss Murphy said she backed Essex Police's warning about the dangers of carrying a knife and drug dealing.

She said: “With the police, I also would tell everyone to take a stand against knife crime.”

Afterwards, Det Supt John Quinton, said: “Today's verdict offers little consolation to Alan's family or to his girlfriend, Rachel, who gave birth to their baby boy just a few months after he was killed.

“Its purpose though offers a very stark warning to everyone who chooses to carry a knife in public and those who choose to deal in drugs.

“The saddest fact from this case is that Alan never saw the birth of his son. The opportunity to become a proud father was taken away from him by a teenage boy who had decided on a career in criminality at such a young age.

“He now faces the prospect of a large chunk of his life being behind bars.

“I suggest he uses this time to reflect on his actions and better himself should he ever return to society.

“Again, I urge all parents to face up to their responsibilities as guardians. They must challenge their children; find out who they socialise with, find out where they are during the evenings and not allow their young teenage sons and daughters to be out on the streets late at night or in the early hours of the morning.

“We continue to extend our sympathies to Rachel and Alan's family. They, and we, may get some satisfaction that this boy has been convicted, but it will not bring Alan back.”

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