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Family of celebrity minder vent anger at justice system as killer is sentenced

Friends and family of a celebrity minder stabbed to death by a machete-wielding thug clapped and shouted “yes” as his killer, Tommy Roome, was jailed at the Old Bailey for 14 years, with a further five years on extended licence.

Roome, who was 19 at the time, was found not guilty of murdering Ricky Hayden by a jury at the Old Bailey, but convicted of the lesser charge of manslaughter over the fatal stabbing.

A second defendant, Tarrell Hinds, 20, was found not guilty of involvement in the killing, in Romford, east London, on September 13 2016.

It took the jurors 13 hours and 30 minutes to reach the verdicts at the end of the six-week trial, which also found the pair innocent of attempted murder of the victim’s father, Paul, and an alternative change of wounding with intent against the older man.

Roome, now 20, returned to the Old Bailey to be sentenced alongside Kevin Malamba, also 20, from Southwark, south London, who admitted perverting the course of justice.

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A group of family and friends of the victim gathered outside the court waving banners and placards, calling for justice, before the hearing before Judge Philip Katz QC.

Mr Hayden’s mother Suzanne Hedges said: “We are here today to let people know this system is rubbish.

“They need to get rid of the jury and have people who know what DNA is, not people who fall asleep.

“We are hard-working people. We got no justice.”

Tommy Roome was found not guilty of murdering Ricky Hayden but convicted of manslaughter

Tommy Roome was found not guilty of murdering Ricky Hayden but convicted of manslaughter

The court had heard that Mr Hayden, 27, had worked in security at ITV and acted as a bodyguard for high-profile celebrities including footballer Peter Crouch and model Abbey Clancy.

He ran out of his house wearing only a pair of boxer shorts on the night of the incident, believing youths were about to snatch his brother’s scooter.

Prosecutors said Mr Hayden, his 21-year-old brother Perry and their father, 55, were confronted by Roome and Mr Hinds, who were armed with two large machetes.

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Jurors were told that the defendants had gone to Gibbfield Close that day to look for two other brothers – Carter and Latham Jordan – with whom Roome was involved in an ongoing dispute.

Roome, of Chadwell Heath, east London, and Mr Hinds, of Chigwell, east London, were on a moped at the time, the court heard.

Ricky Hayden, left, acted as a bodyguard for high-profile celebrities including footballer Peter Crouch and model Abbey Clancy

Ricky Hayden, left, acted as a bodyguard for high-profile celebrities including footballer Peter Crouch and model Abbey Clancy

The court heard Mr Hayden worked for Havering Council and also provided personal security for a number of celebrities.

His mother said in a victim impact statement the family had been “crushed” by his death.

She said: “Ricky was our boy. He was kind, caring and honest with a cheeky streak.”

She last spoke to him on the phone when he called her up just to say: “I love you”.

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Ms Hedges described listening to the “sickening” details of the case in court and the way her son was attacked while he was “vulnerable, unarmed, unprepared, confused and wearing nothing but his underwear”.

The teaching assistant added: “I would have given my own life in a heartbeat just to have saved him the pain and fear he must have felt at that moment.”

The court heard Roome had 25 previous convictions, including for possession of an offensive weapon.

Michael Turner QC, mitigating for Roome, suggested the jury had convicted him of manslaughter on the basis that he “inflicted the fatal injury but without intent, and without realising he was causing really serious harm”.

He said: “We accept of course Tommy Roome’s own evidence that he regularly carried a machete, but he has never used that weapon and on the jury’s verdict, there must have been an element of self defence.”

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