12 years for teenager guilty of Oswestry car park manslaughter

A teenager has been locked up for 12 years after killing a father-of-one with an ornamental sword modelled on The Lord of the Rings films.

Danny Jones, left, died during a fight with Richard Reece, right
Danny Jones, left, and Richard Reece.

Richard Reece denied murdering 21-year-old Danny Jones during a fight in Oswestry in April this year.

After a two-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court, Reece, 19, was cleared of murder on Wednesday but found guilty of manslaughter.

Reece, from Lord Street, Oswestry, showed little emotion as the verdict was read out by the jury spokeswoman.

Judge Melbourne Inman QC passed a sentence of 12 years, but told Reece if he had been older, it could have been as high as 15 years.

Danny Jones suffered fatal injuries from this ornamental sword, modelled on The Lord of the Rings films. Reece was found guilty of manslaughter.
Danny Jones suffered fatal injuries from this ornamental sword, modelled on The Lord of the Rings films. Reece was found guilty of manslaughter.

The judge told Reece that he will serve at least half of his sentence before being considered for release on licence.

“Nothing you or I can say will bring Danny Jones back to life,” he told Reece.

“I’ve heard of the devastating effect that his death has had on his mother, Lisa, and the terrible sense of loss and emptiness she now feels.”

Judge Inman told Reece he had turned a scuffle between himself and Mr Jones, of Chirk, into something much more serious by jumping on the roof of Mr Jones’s car.

“You accepted that he was very fond of that car yet caused very substantial damage to it,” he said. “Otherwise I’m convinced that the violence would have calmed down.”

The judge said he had taken in to account Reece’s age when passing sentence. “You are a normal 19-year-old but there is still room for improvement in maturity,” he said.

After the trial, Martin Lindop, sector crown prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said: “What should have been a pleasant evening with a few friends enjoying some drinks has ended with a young man losing his life.