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Two men sentenced to life behind bars for ‘cruel’ torture and killing of Leicester jeweller Ramniklal Jogiya

Ramniklal Jogiya was almost certainly still alive when he was dumped by his kidnappers, but died as a result of his injuries. Photo: PA

Two men have been given a sentence of life behind bars for the “cowardly, cruel and callous” kidnap and murder of a 74-year-old jeweller in a botched £300,000 robbery.

Thomas Jervis, 24, and Charles Mcauley, 20, were previously convicted after trial at Birmingham Crown Court of murdering Ramniklal Jogiya on the grounds of joint enterprise.

On Monday, the heist’s planner Jervis was jailed for life with a minimum term of 33 years, while Mcauley was sentenced to custody for life with a minimum of 30 years.

Charles Mcauley, left, and Thomas Jervis Credit: Leicestershire Police/PA

Elderly Mr Jogiya was bundled into a van while walking home on a cold night in January, before he was beaten for information and then dumped in a country lane near Stoughton, Leicestershire.

Callan Reeve, 20, who was cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter after a five-week trial, was jailed for 16 years.

Mr Jogiya was handled with such force that one of his biceps was ripped away from the bone, six of his ribs on the left side were broken, and he had multiple injuries to his hands and fingers.

Jervis, of Enderby Road, Whetstone, Leicestershire, returned to the shop to open the safe while wearing a burkha disguise, but was defeated by a 12-hour time-lock.

Mcauley, of Gooding Avenue, Leicester, had denied having anything to do with the killing and tried to lay the blame at the door of another man during the trial.

He and Jervis hugged as they walked from the dock after sentencing, as Mcauley nodded and waved to family in the packed public gallery.

Reeve, of Aylmer Road, Leicester, and who had acted as a look-out for the robbery, bowed his head as he was sentenced.

Callan Reeve Credit: Leicestershire Police/PA

All three had admitted kidnap and robbery but denied killing their victim.

Jailing the men, Mr Justice Martin Spencer said: “One can only imagine the terror that poor man went through in the back of the van as the information required was tortured out of him.

“He was then dumped by the side of the road in the Leicestershire countryside and left to die.

“This was a cowardly, cruel and callous crime committed by men motivated by greed and self-interest with no respect for human life.”

The pensioner’s family said they had struggled to deal with the “pure aggression and hate” of his attackers, having been “horrified” during the trial to learn of Mr Jogiya’s suffering.

Unsuspecting Mr Jogiya was abducted near his shop in Belgrave Road, Leicester, on January 24, this year, as he walked to the home he shared with his wife and three sons, just around the corner.

Opening the case, James House QC told jurors the “sophisticated” operation, involving cars on false plates, a disguise and the use of six burner mobile phones, must have been planned over weeks if not months.

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Jervis, who was father to a two-year-old girl, was said by the judge to be “the brains behind the heist”, putting together the plan and “recruiting other young men” to the endeavour.

The judge said Jervis and Mcauley were both in the van when Mr Jogiya was tortured, and “intended really serious harm” to their victim.

Mr Justice Spencer added: “We’ll never know exactly what happened in that van.

“Perhaps he was obstinate about telling you what you wanted to know, and he would certainly have been terrified.”

Elderly Mr Jogiya suffered 21 distinctive circular injuries to the torso and shoulder area, suggestive of being shot at close range with a pellet gun.

These injuries were found together with his other wounds which were spread across 27 separate areas of his body, including a brain injury.

The pensioner, who had recently had a stroke and had type-2 diabetes, was almost certainly still alive when he was dumped by his kidnappers, but died as a result of the beating he suffered.

His body was found at about 10am the next day by a retired couple driving past the scene.

CCTV footage of Mr Jogiya as he left his shop Credit: Leicestershire Police/PA

The judge said: “Mr Jogiya may have stumbled around in the dark on that freezing cold January night before collapsing and dying.

“He must have been terrified and lonely.

“I have no doubt the greatest comfort he would have felt in the moments before he died would have been the love of his family.”

Mr Jogiya and his wife had only celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary three days before.

Mr Justice Spencer said: “Their golden wedding anniversary, next year, now won’t happen – instead the family are haunted by what he went through the night he was killed.

“His sons feel a sense of guilt at being unable to protect him from what happened to him.”

Afterwards, Linsey Farnsworth from the Crown Prosecution Service said: “Today’s sentence reflects the harrowing nature of this case.

“These defendants were part of a group determined to kidnap and rob Mr Jogiya; a man simply going about his daily routine.”

Meanwhile an investigation to trace others in connection with the botched heist is continuing, Leicestershire Police said.