Pair jailed for 'racist vigilante-style attack' on man falsely accused of Lorraine Cox murder

Lorraine Cox (pictured) was murdered in August 2020.

Two people have been jailed for a "vigilante-style revenge attack fulled by racism" on a man they wrongly accused of murdering Lorraine Cox.

Louis Mearns and Brandon Burrows targeted Naveed Rahimi because he worked at the kebab shop under the room where the 32-year-old was killed in August 2020.

Lorraine Cox was murdered by Adam Mangori, a tenant above the shop who had nothing to do with the business, who then cut her body into pieces – before dumping her remains in a nearby alley.

The men ambushed Mr Rahimi on his doorstep in October 2020, accusing him of ‘cutting up that girl’ and called him a ‘Turkish terrorist’ as they struck his head and body.

Officers arrested them by tracking the locations on their phones, using DNA from drinks they had thrown at Rahimi, and a testimony from a passerby.

Burrows, aged 26, of Farm Hill, Exeter, admitted racially aggravated battery. Mearns, aged 25, of Clyst St Mary, denied the same offence but was found guilty by a jury at Exeter Crown Court last month.

Mearns was jailed for 44 weeks and Burrows for 50 weeks.

The judge told them: "There was no solid reason for you to believe Mr Rahimi was involved in the killing of Lorraine Cox beyond your vigilantist and racist views about the murder.

"You decided in complete ignorance he must have been involved and either found out where he lived or followed him home. It is nonsense to suggest you went there by coincidence.

"You attacked him in a vigilante-style revenge attack, fuelled by racism. You both angrily and obscenely accused him of being involved with the murder."

Azam Mangori was jailed for life with a minimum term of 20 years after murdering Lorraine Cox Credit: Devon and Cornwall Police

The prosecutor, Herc Ashworth, said the two men were racist thugs who made it clear throughout the incident that the attack was linked to the killing of Lorraine Cox.

Mr Rahimi heard both calling him a Turkish terrorist, which was itself a mistake because he is British and of Afghan origin.

Burrows hit Mr Rahimi with a knuckleduster while shouting: "Turkish terrorist. You chopped up that woman, you were part of it."

A female passer-by said she heard them say "do you know what he has done? He was one of them that cut up that girl, the sick b****rds".

Lorraine Cox with her father Tony

The two men told neighbours: "You are living next to a terrorist."

Burrows has previous convictions for a racially aggravated offence and two for vigilante attacks on people who he falsely accused of being paedophiles.

Mr Christopher Haddock, for Mearns, said he is not a racist and had joined the attack because he was upset by the killing of Miss Cox and not through antagonism based on race.

Miss Kelly Scrivener, for Burrows, said his partner is pregnant and this has changed his attitude to his life and made him determined to stay out of trouble.

Mangori, also known as Meyer, was found guilty of the murder of Lorraine Cox in a trial at Exeter in April 2021 and jailed for life with a minimum term of 20 years.

He met Ms Cox as she was walking home drunk after a night out and took her back to his second floor room above the kebab house where he killed her and dismembered her body.

He dumped some of the body parts in refuse sacks in the alleyway next to the shop and other parts in woodland at Tinpit Hill, near Stoke Canon.

Five men associated with the kebab shop were arrested when the body was found but later released without charge after police realised Mangori was the killer.