Men jailed for Bristol flat fire murder

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Michael Dommett and Russell OakeyImage source, Avon and Somerset Police
Image caption,
Michael Dommett (left) and Russell Oakey were jailed for life for the murder

Two men have been jailed for life for murdering a man whose body was found in a burned-out flat in Bristol.

The body of Avonmouth businessman Andrew Groves, 47, was found at the flat in Oakhanger Drive, Lawrence Weston, last September.

Bristol Crown Court heard Michael Dommett, 38, and Russell Oakey, 42, started the fire deliberately in an attempt to conceal evidence.

The court heard Mr Groves died from multiple blows to the head.

Dommett, formerly of Shirehampton, must serve a minimum of 16 years and Oakey, of High Street, Hanham, a minimum of 18 years.

Image source, Avon and Somerset Police
Image caption,
Andrew Groves was found after the flat fire in Lawrence Weston last September

Oaksey was found guilty of murder and of perverting the course of justice earlier this week.

Dommett changed his plea to guilty of murder during the trial.

Det Insp Lorna Dallimore from Avon and Somerset Police said Mr Groves was subjected to "a truly horrific ordeal".

"They concocted a series of lies to distance themselves from the scene of the crime and claimed they'd left Andrew at the property asleep," she said.

Image caption,
A murder investigation was launched after Mr Groves' body was found in Lawrence Weston last September

"Through a combination of forensic and DNA evidence, analysis of telephone data and ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) cameras, we were able to expose these lies and prove they were responsible for Andrew's murder."

In a statement, Mr Groves' family described him as "a hard-working and devoted family man" and "a kind and loving son".

The family said: "The sentence these two men will get will be never enough for us as a family. For we will never see our dear Andrew again.

"His sudden death has been devastating to his wife, his son Lewis and daughter Molly."

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