Gang jailed for torture and murder of Adam Clapham in Rotherham

Adam Clapham and killers
Adam Clapham

Five gang members who left a man to die after torturing him in a cellar have been jailed.

Father-of-one Adam Clapham, 31, was tied to a chair, beaten with a hammer, attacked with a machete and had boiling water poured over him after £300 of drugs money went missing from the property at Spring Street, Rotherham.

Arbab Yusuf, aged 24, Muhammad Ashraf, 18, Kieron Millar, 30, Robert Crookes, 31 and a 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, have all been handed life sentences at Sheffield Crown Court for his murder.

Ashraf, Crookes and the 17-year-old were also found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, false imprisonment and rape.

Millar was convicted of grievous bodily harm with intent and false imprisonment along with Lynette Myers, 39.

Top row from L to R: Muhammad Ashraf, Arbab Yusuf, Kieron Millar. Bottom row from L to R: Robert Crookes, Lynette Myers. Credit: South Yorkshire Police

During the trial jurors heard how Mr Clapham and another man were captured and assaulted before being forced to perform sex acts on each other while being filmed.

The second victim managed to escape and was found seriously injured.

Mr Clapham's body was found in a sleeping bag at the property. He had suffered more than 200 injuries, including 52 to his head.

The judge, Mr Justice Dove, said the horrific incident illustrated the "appalling consequences of the drugs trade in our communities".

He highlighted the "sadistic element" of the incident, saying it was a "relentless, sadistic attack" adding: "The suffering inflicted on (Mr Clapham) is difficult to imagine."

Mr Clapham's mother, Carol Clapham, read an impact statement to the court saying: "The circumstances of his death gives me nightmares and will forever by imprinted in my thoughts.

"No-one deserves what happened to Adam."

Mrs Clapham added: "Adam was a kind, gentle man and would not harm anyone."

She said her son would never get to see his seven-year-old daughter grow up.

'Every parent's worst nightmare' - Carol Clapham's statement in full

Adam Clapham's mother, Carol described the impact of his murder in a statement given in court.

She said: "I never thought I would have to try and explain how I feel at the loss of my son. This is every parent's worst nightmare. It was certainly mine and now my nightmare is a reality.

"The death of Adam has impacted the whole family, he leaves behind a seven-year-old daughter, who he will never see develop into a young woman, who he will never see get married or have children of her own. This leaves a seven-year-old fatherless and having to process the loss of her dad.

"Adam also leaves behind a loving father and sister, and several nieces and nephews who are all devastated. We as a family are still trying to come to terms with what has happened, but I doubt we ever will. When Adam died, a part of me died with him. I will never be the same.

"Adam was a kind, gentle man and he would not hurt anyone. I cannot put into words how much we miss him. Adam we love you, always have, always will and until we meet again you will forever be in our hearts."

A statement was also read from the man who survived the incident in what he described as the "dark and dingy" cellar.

He said: "What happened to me was horrific but what happened to Adam was far worse.

"The abuse was horrific and I have been left with physical and mental scars."

He added that he was "tortured and humiliated" and they "left me for dead in that cellar".

Yusuf was given a 39-year minimum term, Crookes a minimum of 37 years, Millar a 30-year minimum, Ashraf a minimum of 28 years, and the 17-year-old a 21-year minimum.

Myers was jailed for 12 years.

Det Ch Insp Emma Knight, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “The sentences given today reflect the extreme levels of violence used and the gravity of this group’s offending."

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