Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Doncaster boxer Tom Bell: Two jailed over shooting death

Tom Bell Image copyright Steel Stream Design
Image caption Tom Bell was described as having the "potential to go very, very far in the game"

A pair of drug dealers have been jailed for killing a promising boxer who was shot at a Doncaster pub.

Tom Bell, 21, died from shotgun wounds to the chest and abdomen after being shot through the window of the Maple Tree pub in Balby on 17 January.

Scott Gocoul, 30, was convicted of murder and Joseph Bennia, 28, was found guilty of manslaughter.

Gocoul was jailed for life and will serve a minimum of 33 years. Bennia was handed a 17-year prison term.

Half his sentence will be served on licence, Sheffield Crown Court was told.

Image copyright South Yorkshire Police
Image caption Joseph Bennia (left) and Scott Gocoul sold crack cocaine and heroin in Doncaster

A jury heard how Mr Bell was killed after going to the pub after training.

He was with friends at the busy pub, where 60 to 70 customers were inside waiting for a quiz to start.

About 15 minutes before the quiz's start time, one of Mr Bell's friends saw a masked gunman through a window.

He shouted a warning before two shots were fired and Mr Bell called out he had been hit.

Image caption A masked gunman was seen outside a pub seconds before Mr Bell was shot

Gocoul and Bennia, both of no fixed address, were arrested after the shooting.

They admitted being at the Maple Tree pub on the night Mr Bell was shot but denied killing him.

However, Gocoul admitted he "didn't like" Mr Bell because of an attack on his girlfriend in 2016, while he was in prison.

Image caption Fellow boxers left signed gloves in tribute to Mr Bell

Hundreds of people attended his funeral at St Peter-in-Chains in Doncaster.

Doncaster Plant Works Amateur Boxing Club, where Mr Bell trained, said the boxer turned professional at 18 and described him as a "great warrior".

Image caption Mr Bell's coffin was carried to a requiem Mass in a horse-drawn hearse

Speaking after this death, IBF featherweight world champion Josh Warrington, from Leeds, said: "When you talk about natural talent, the guy had loads of it.

"He had the potential to go very, very far in the game."

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