Five 'gang' members found guilty of murdering Rotherham man to send message 'they should not be crossed'

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Four men and a boy involved with a 'gang' have been found guilty of murdering a Rotherham man over a £300 drug debt, following a trial at Sheffield Crown Court.

31-year-old Adam Clapham was tied to a chair and tortured for five hours in a Rotherham basement in September 2022, and during that time, was hit with bottles, had boiling water poured over him and was beaten with a hammer, jurors were told at the opening of a trial at Sheffield Crown Court.

Muhammad Ashraf, aged 18, of Fraser Road, Rotherham; 24-year-old; Arbab Yusuf of Lord Street, Rotherham; Kieron Millar, aged 30, of Mount Pleasant Road, Rotherham; Robert Crookes, aged 31, of no fixed abode; and a 17-year-old boy who cannot be named were all found guilty of murdering Mr Clapham, a spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) confirmed earlier today (Monday, June 12, 2023).

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A second male, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was also severely beaten, but survived the attack and was found badly injured in Rotherham town centre on September 18, 2022, the court heard. Mr Clapham's naked body was found in a sleeping bag in a house in Rotherham.

Five gang members have been found guilty of murdering Adam Clapham (pictured), a spokesperson for the CPS said todayFive gang members have been found guilty of murdering Adam Clapham (pictured), a spokesperson for the CPS said today
Five gang members have been found guilty of murdering Adam Clapham (pictured), a spokesperson for the CPS said today | 3rd party

Ashraf, Yusuf, Crookes and the 17-year-old were also found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, false imprisonment and rape.Miller and Lynette Myers, 39, of Hounsfield Crescent, Rotherham, were found guilty of grievous bodily harm and false imprisonment. A seventh defendant - Martin Shaw, 44, of Norfolk Court, Rotherham - was cleared of one count of assisting offenders.

Speaking after the jury returned their guilty verdicts, a CPS spokesperson said: "Both men had been detained in the cellar. The motive for the violence was linked to drug dealing.  The defendant Arbab Yusuf used this address as a base for his Class A drug dealing business.

"Drug addicts visited that address to buy their drugs, and the two victims were blamed for £300 of drugs money going missing.

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"The two men were attacked because the drug dealers believed they had stolen the money, and the gang wanted to send out a message that they should not be crossed."

Jurors were told how, during the course of the fatal attack, Mr Clapham sustained 214 injuries.

"Most of the injuries had been caused by blunt force trauma - stabs, kicks and punches. A violent blow to his head had caused a serious brain injury. Medical experts stated that this injury, together with considerable blood loss had led to his death," the CPS spokesperson said.

The surviving victim told police that he had called at the house in the early hours of the morning to buy drugs, and four of the defendants had grabbed him and taken him to the basement. 

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He was tied to a chair and tortured for five hours, including being beaten with a hammer and hit with bottles. Boiling water was poured over him.  

Mr Clapham was also brought down to the basement to be beaten.

The guilty verdicts were returned at the conclusion of a trial at Sheffield Crown Court (pictured)The guilty verdicts were returned at the conclusion of a trial at Sheffield Crown Court (pictured)
The guilty verdicts were returned at the conclusion of a trial at Sheffield Crown Court (pictured) | NW

"The two men were forced to perform a sex act on each other," the CPS spokesperson added.

When Muhammed Ashraf’s phone was recovered, two ten second video clips of this act were discovered on his phone.

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Claire Macdonald said: “This case involves very serious violence and humiliation being used towards these two men. The prosecution say they were both tortured.

“The level and extent of the violence inflicted was utterly horrific.  One of the victims did not survive, and the second was badly injured.

“The motive for the attack appeared to be a £300 drug debt. It is absolutely tragic that one man has lost his life and another suffered appalling injuries as a result of the brutal vengeance inflicted by this gang.  They are now facing considerable prison sentences. Our thoughts remain with the families of both victims.”

A seventh defendant was found not guilty of assisting an offender.

They will be sentenced on July 24, 2023.