Maidstone Crown Court

County news: Rough sleeper was butchered with meat cleaver

A man who took part in the horrific killing of a Romanian rough sleeper will not stand trial for murder, a judge has ruled.

Sitting at Maidstone Crown Court, Judge Jeremy Carey said Jimmy Buckley is mentally unfit to plead to the crime.

The 20-year-old was part of a gang which used a meat clever and other weapons to carry out a frenzied unprovoked attack upon Razvan Sirbu, 21, in a wooded area at Tovil, Maidstone, on May 7 last year.

Mr Sirbu suffered devastating injuries including skull fractures, facial bone fractures and several fractured ribs.

An investigation by the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate led to the arrests of Charlie White, Alex Macdonald and Jimmy Buckley – all on suspicion of murder.

On January 16, White, who is 19 and of Quarry Road, Maidstone, and Macdonald, 19, and of Regency Place, Maidstone, were jailed for a minimum of 16 years and a minimum of 18 years respectively.

Both had denied murder, but were found guilty by a jury.

Buckley, of Capell Close, Coxheath, was deemed unfit to plead, but was found by the jury to be involved in the killing Mr Sirbu.

Judge Carey passed the hospital order on Thursday. Using powers under the Mental Health Act, he made the order indefinite, citing it necessary for the protection of the public.

Speaking after the case, investigating officer Det Sgt Matt Banks said: “It has been almost a year since Razvan Sirbu was killed in the most appalling and cowardly way, subjected to a brutal and sustained attack which left him suffering devastating injuries to his both his head and body.

“This murder robbed a young man of his life and also devastated the lives of his loved ones. I hope today’s ruling will now allow Mr Sirbu’s family to get some closure, from what has undoubtedly been a harrowing ordeal.”

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