Four found guilty in Shaun Rossington murder trial

Four people have been convicted on Friday of murdering a “vulnerable and gullible” 21-year-old man who was beaten to death in Lincoln.

Nicholas Shelbourne (27), Mark Jackson (21) and two 17-year-old boys were found guilty of murder at the Nottingham Crown Court.

They were among seven people accused of luring Shaun Rossington (pictured) to a spot where he was beaten to death.

The verdicts reached by the jury at Nottingham crown Court today:

  • Mark Jackson (21) of Lincoln – Guilty to murder and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice
  • Nicholas Shelbourne (27) of Lincoln – Guilty to murder and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice
  • Darryl Jones (17) of Lincoln – Guilty to murder and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice
  • Jordan O’Rourke (17) of Lincoln – Guilty to murder and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice
  • Female (17) of Lincoln – Not guilty to murder, guilty to manslaughter and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice
  • Female (14) of Lincoln – Not guilty to murder and manslaughter – guilty to conspiracy to pervert the course of justice
  • Male (16) of Lincoln – Not guilty on both counts

The defendants found guilty will be sentenced in January.

The court heard Rossington went to meet the 14-year-old girl on the promise of a sex act in exchange for £100 on June 3, 2010.

But he was then set upon by Jones, O’Rouke, Shelbourne and Jackson and left for dead on the grassland.

He had been punched, cut, kicked and stamped on, and was left face-down on the ground, where he was found dead just after 4am.

The group then conspired to cover up the murder. They planted Rossington’s shoes in the road to make it look like a car crash.

Jackson and the 17-year-old girl returned to the scene, calling emergency services and claiming they had just found the body.

The court heard they all told officers different stories in interview, raising suspicions about their involvement.

After verdicts were returned, Justice Cox commended the Rossington family, including mother Sharon and father Kevin, for their dignity during the trial.

She said: “I would like to pay tribute to your forebearance and your considerable dignity.

“You sat throughout what must have been the most distressing trial for you and your conduct throughout it all has been exemplary and I would like to express that because that needs recognition.”

Speaking after the verdicts were returned today, Rossington’s brother Chris (25) said: “Our family has been totally devastated by what these people did to Shaun.

“They are beneath contempt and they deserve to go to prison for a very long time.

“What they did was disgusting and the way they tried to lie and deceive the police afterwards just shows the type of people they are.

“Throughout the trial a number of things were said or implied about Shaun that were totally unfounded and extremely upsetting for our family.

“It is important for us that Shaun is remembered as the man he was; a loving, gentle and generous person, who cared deeply for his family and his partner and who had so much to look forward to in life.”

Det Supt Mark Hosty said: “This was a vicious and unprovoked attack by a group of young people on a vulnerable man who was lured to his death.

“The verdicts demonstrate that those responsible tried, in vain, to cover up what they had done in an attempt to escape justice.

“Their lies and deceit made the task of investigating and prosecuting those responsible for Shaun Rossington’s death more difficult.

“The jury have had to consider a significant amount of evidence in reaching their verdicts.

“Our thoughts at this time are with Shaun Rossington’s family.”

Source: Press Association | Related Reports: Lincolnshire Echo, BBC Lincolnshire