5th Dec, 2016

Four people jailed for causing death of Stratford man Tristram Wallace

Stratford Editorial 10th May, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

FOUR people have been jailed for causing the death of Stratford man Tristram Wallace.

Neil Potter, 37, and Peter Mallon, 42, were convicted of murdering the 36-year-old following a five week trial at Birmingham Crown Court.

Donna Windsor, 38, and Toney Jelf, 39, had previously pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Mr Wallace.

But Windsor, of Betjeman Road, was cleared of his murder while the jury of eight men and four women were unable to reach a verdict on the murder charge for Jelf.

Both Potter and Mallon were given life sentences and are expected to serve a minimum of 18 years and 16 years behind bars respectively before they can apply for parole.

Jelf and Windsor were jailed for nine years and four months and ten years respectively.

As the sentences were read out by The Honourable Mr Justice Timothy Holroyde, all four defendants stood impassively in the dock.

He said: “Every crime of homicide ends one life but brings misery to others. So on this case the family of Tristram Wallace are left to mourn his death and to live with the knowledge of how he died – in pain and fear at the side of the road.

“You all played your parts in a joint attack. You pursued your attack in the most determined way until you realised the police were coming.

“Then you fled the scene without a backward glance at the man you had left lying on the ground.

“None of you lifted a finger to help him, showed the slightest concern for him or what you had done.”

During the course of the trial, the jury heard how Mr Wallace suffered a cardiac arrest after being subjected to two separate attacks in Stratford town centre on June 22.

James Curtis QC, prosecuting, told the court the attacks were a “punishment beating” based on the mistaken belief Mr Wallace had cheated them out of a drugs deal.

Arden Street resident Mr Wallace was said to have pleaded for mercy as he was repeatedly punched, kicked and stamped on in what the judge said was a case of mistaken identity.

The group then attempted to loot his body – rifling through his clothes and personal belongings – as he lay semi-conscious and dying on the ground.

The sustained attack, which reportedly brought traffic at the junction of Arden Street and Birmingham Road to a standstill, was witnessed by some 30 members of the public – many of whom gave evidence in the trial.

Windsor will serve six months in prison alongside her existing custodial sentence after admitting attempted theft.

Florence Caines, 26, was given an eight month sentence for pleading guilty to stealing Mr Wallace’s mobile phone but has served that while on remand.

The family of Tristram Wallace have released a statement following the verdicts.

It read: “Tristram was a loving son and grandson. Our only child, he was caring, funny and kind.

“He loved to travel, particularly in the USA, where he worked and travelled all over and even appeared in television commercials.

“He enjoyed sport and was a football fan, supporting Manchester United.

“We are completely devastated, not only by the loss of our devoted son, but the horrific way Tristram was taken from us in the prime of his life.

“His hopes, dreams and aspirations have been cruelly taken away and our lives will never be the same again, we are not living, just existing.

“We would like to thank our friends, family and the local community for their kindness and compassion.

“We would also like to thank Warwickshire Police for their ongoing help and support.”

The family have asked that their privacy be respected at this difficult time.