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The family of a young man who was killed while out with friends have described how they are haunted by his loss after two men were convicted of his murder.
Liam Taylor, 19, and another 19-year-old friend had gone for a drink with friends at The Rose and Crown pub in The Green, Writtle, on January 31 last year.
They were in a smoking area outside at the rear of the pub with other people when a black Subaru pulled up and a group of men got out.
They attacked Liam and his friend with weapons in a targeted attack and drove off, leaving the pair bleeding heavily.
Liam managed to get himself inside to the bar area, but died at the scene from multiple stab wounds. His friend was taken to hospital before police arrived and was treated for a stab wound to his leg.
The Subaru, which had been stolen from Hainault, was later found burnt out in Bicknacre.
Ryan Filby and Daniel Daden were convicted of Liam’s murder and the attack on his friend today, Wednesday May 5.
Chelmsford Crown Court heard the attack was in retaliation for an incident less than two hours previously in which Filby had been beaten by two people with a pole outside his home.
Although the defendants and the victims were known to each other, neither Liam nor his friend were involved in the earlier assault.
Filby, 21 of Evelyn Place, Chelmsford, and Daden, 19, of Bramble Road, Witham, were each charged with murder, attempted murder, wounding with intent and unlawful wounding.
They denied the offences and stood trial at Chelmsford Crown Court on March 22.
Today, Wednesday May 5, they were convicted of murder and wounding with intent. They were found not guilty of the other offences.
A third man, Connor Smith, 19, of Springfield Park Avenue, Chelmsford, was found not guilty of murder, attempted murder, wounding with intent and unlawful wounding.
Filby and Daden will be sentenced in June. A date for the hearing has yet to be set.
Speaking after the verdicts were announced, Liam’s nan, Julie Taylor, said: “The most heart-breaking thing for me is Liam and his mum Michelle were so close.
“He always told her ‘as long we have each other we will always be okay.’
“How can she ever be okay again? A huge part of her was taken when they took his life. Her world collapsed and part of her died that night.
“Fish, as we called him, wasn’t just a son, he was his mother’s soulmate and best friend, a protective big brother to Lewis and his little sister Lilly.
“He was a loving, kind and caring boy, always smiling, charismatic.
“During the trial we have endured details from witnesses, video footage, forensic and pathology details of his traumatic death.
“It’s worse than a horror film and no mother, grandmother, brother, sister or family member should ever have to deal with this..
“There are no circumstances where any individual needs to walk the streets with weapons and there will never be justification. It will always end in tragedy.”
Detective Chief Inspector Stephen Jennings, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: “Liam Taylor and his friend had no way of defending themselves against such a violent assault, which was borne out of retribution for an attack that neither of them were involved in.
“It was a horrific assault that will have a lasting impact on Liam’s family, his friend, and all those who witnessed what happened that night.
“Liam’s death was completely needless and my thoughts are with his family, who despite today’s convictions will always feel the pain of their loss.
“Time and again, we see the consequences of violence and the devastation it causes for victims and their families and communities.
“This case highlights the consequences of young people drifting into crime and carrying weapons.
“I would ask anyone who is in that situation to take a good hard look at what kind of life they want to lead, and consider the consequences of their actions.
“We work tirelessly to get weapons off our streets and bring offenders to justice.
“We also work with our communities and other organisations to address the complex reasons behind why people are involved in violent crime.
“However it’s something that we must all as a community work together to tackle, and I’d urge anyone who has information about anybody who is in possession of weapons to please report it so we can take action.”