Wiltshire

Roger Millar killing: Swindon stab pair face jail

Shelton Sibanda (left) and Christopher Simmonds
Image caption Simmonds (r) was convicted of manslaughter, while Sibanda pleaded guilty to murder six weeks ago

Two drug dealers are facing prison sentences for killing a former soldier in a revenge attack in Swindon.

Roger Millar, 44, was stabbed five times with a large hunting knife in Rodbourne on 6 June 2012.

Christopher Simmonds, 28, from east Dulwich in south London, was acquitted of murder by a jury at Bristol Crown Court but found guilty of manslaughter by a majority of 10-2.

Shelton Sibanda, 20, pleaded guilty to murder at the start of the trial.

Mr Millar, of East Street in Swindon, suffered wounds to his back and lower limbs during the attack.

'Oldest and slowest'

During the trial, the jury was told how Sibanda had been robbed by Damian Lynch, who he was meeting for a drugs deal, and wanted revenge.

Image caption The jury was told Mr Millar had been accompanying a man who robbed Sibanda during a drugs deal

Mr Lynch was accompanying Mr Millar - a former soldier with the Royal Engineers - at the time.

Prosecutor Nigel Lickley QC said Sibanda rounded up a five-strong gang to go out looking for revenge.

He told the court: "It seems that Mr Millar, who was perhaps the oldest and the slowest of the group he was in, was selected because he was the slowest and unable to make his escape."

Three other men accused of involvement in the killing - Zacharious Clayton, 19, Kendel Joseph, 19 and Eurico Tavares, 18 - were acquitted by the jury of murder and the alternative charge of manslaughter.

'Overwhelming evidence'

Simmonds, of Mundania Road, who admitted a separate charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice, was remanded into custody to await sentencing at a later date.

Image caption Mr Millar, who was found at Barnum Court, was described by his family as "the complete gentleman"

Mr Justice Haddon-Cave told him: "You have been found guilty on overwhelming evidence by the jury of this court of the manslaughter of Roger Millar.

"I will reserve sentence today to a date to be fixed, so you may be sentenced with Shelton Sibanda who pleaded guilty to the murder of Roger Millar."

In a statement released by Wiltshire Police, Mr Millar's family said: "Roger was the complete gentleman and has been described so, not only by the Millar family but colleagues that he worked with whilst serving his country with the Corps of the Royal Engineers both home and abroad."

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