Three South Yorkshire killers face sentencing after an alleyway attack on a vulnerable man
Three killers are due to be sentenced after an alleyway attack on a vulnerable man left him with fatal injuries.
A Sheffield Crown Court trial has heard how Shae Nicholson, Martell Brown and a 15-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and Kian Gerrard had all denied murdering Jerry Appicella who was attacked in an alleyway leading to Hickleton Street, in Denaby Main, Doncaster, near a Go Local shop.
But on March 25 a jury found Nicholson guilty of murder and although Brown and the 15-year-old boy were found not guilty of murder they were found of guilty of manslaughter.
Kian Gerrard was found not guilty of murder and was discharged.
John Harrison, prosecuting, had told the jury how 51-year-old Mr Appicella, who used a walking stick and had drug and alcohol problems, was attacked in the evening of December 3, 2019, and was found deceased 12 days later on December 15 at his home on Craganour Place, Denaby Main, by police.
Mr Harrison had told the jury Mr Appicella was beaten, kicked, stamped on and struck with a weapon and was knocked to the ground as the the attack continued.
CCTV showed Mr Appicella had previously been in the Go Local store and had come into conflict with some of the defendants before he was attacked, according to Mr Harrison.
He added there is no obvious motive but it was accepted by the four defendants that they were present.
Police visited Mr Appicella’s home at 9am, on December 15, according to Mr Harrison, and forced entry and found him deceased.
A post mortem examination confirmed Mr Appicella had died as a result of head trauma with bleeding on the brain which would have affected his consciousness before he lapsed into a coma and died, according to Mr Harrison.
Mr Harrison added the bruising to Mr Appicella’s head and face was consistent with punches, kicks and stomps and he had been punched and kicked to death.
The court heard Mr Appicella was a gay man who had attended drama school as a youngster and had performed with the National Theatre as a teenager and he had also worked as a bus driver and a doorman.
But Mr Harrison said Mr Appicella had become dependent on benefits and the support of his family after he had developed an alcohol and drugs problem and he had suffered a stroke and used a walking stick.
The youth claimed he had not been aware of any decision to attack Mr Appicella and had claimed he had not taken part in the attack.
Brown claimed he had told others to stop and had tried to stop Nicholson.
Mr Gerrard, aged 19, of Lincoln Close, Denaby Main, Doncaster, who was acquitted, told police he had been present during the assault but claimed he had only watched and had not been involved.
Nicholson, aged 20, of Lincoln Close, Denaby Main, Doncaster, who had admitted manslaughter, Brown, aged 24, of Colliery Road, Doncaster, and the 15-year-old boy, from the Doncaster area, had their cases adjourned by Mr Justice Martin Spencer for sentencing on an earmarked date of May 3.