Inmates handed life sentences for ‘ferocious’ murder of vulnerable fellow prisoner

Three inmates have been handed life sentences for killing a fellow prisoner in “cold blood” and trying to cut his head off.

Stephen Boorman, 34, Jibreel Raheem, 27, and James Brabbs, 33, (pictured, l-r) set upon Ukrainian Taras Nykolyn with home-made weapons in the exercise yard at HMP Woodhill in Milton Keynes on June 5 2018.

They planned the “ferocious” attack on the 49-year-old because he was “different”, “foreign” and had mental health issues, and so they could brag about it afterwards.

Jailing them for life at the Old Bailey, Mrs Justice Whipple said the “ferocity and speed of violence was shocking”.

“This was a planned execution by the defendants in cold blood,” she said.

Ringleader Boorman, who was found guilty of murder following a trial, was jailed for life with a minimum of 35 years, meaning he will be eligible for parole when he is 69.

Raheem, who admitted murder, was jailed for life with a minimum of 20 years and nine months.

Brabbs, who pleaded guilty on the third day of the trial, was jailed for life with a minimum of 10 years.

His sentence was ordered to run concurrently to his existing stretch, meaning he will be eligible for parole when he is 72 years old.

As they were sent down, Boorman told Mrs Justice Whipple: “On behalf of my friend I would like to say thank you for not giving him a whole life term – 10 years for murder.”

Prosecutor Amjad Malik QC had told jurors how the men had been allowed into the exercise yard together on the afternoon of June 5 2018.

Boorman launched the attack by punching Mr Nykolyn in the face, knocking him to the ground unconscious.

The men then used home-made “shanks” to slash his body, and repeatedly kicked and stamped on him before tying a ligature round his neck and trying to behead him.

Mr Malik had said the men carefully planned the attack and armed themselves with the blades and a torn bedsheet.

They had smuggled one of the weapons out in a rolled-up jumper, which was not searched by prison guards, and the other was stashed between two pairs of underwear.

The attack, in front of the prison guards, was captured on graphic CCTV and handheld cameras.

The defendants were arrested after handing over the weapons, made from a miswak stick and a pencil with razor blades attached to the ends.

Boorman had been serving a sentence for attempted murder, while Brabbs was in jail for murder and attempted murder on another inmate.

Raheem was serving a sentence for an attempted murder, while Mr Nykolyn was in prison for a manslaughter conviction.

The court heard Mr Nykolyn’s crime was connected with his mental health problems, but he was no threat to his attackers.

His partner and other members of his family had been left “deeply distressed” by his death “for no reason”, the court heard.

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