In sentencing the killers of an Ilkeston father-of-six to a combined total of 31 years behind bars, a judge declared that victim Michael Moss ‘had no chance’ after being beaten in his own home.
Handing Jamie Elliott and Nathan Hall, who attacked Mr Moss in his Canal Street house, each a 12-year sentence for manslaughter, Judge Michael Stokes QC told them they had ‘no right’ to do what they did.
Judge Stokes also sentenced Mr Moss’s ex-partner Collette Booth to seven years for manslaughter, saying she ‘triggered’ the attack by Elliott and Hall.
“Michael Moss by most people’s standard didn’t have much of a life,” said Judge Stokes on Tuesday (October 8). “He had lost contact, most of the time, with his family.
“He was an alcoholic and spent most of his time visiting the Enterprise Club or obtaining alcohol elsewhere. But he had a life and he was entitled to his life.
“No-one had the right to attack him in the way that he was attacked.”
During the trial, the jury heard that Booth, 47, of Mill Street, Ilkeston, called Elliott – a friend of her son Alan Chapman – using a friend’s phone, shortly before the attack which killed Mr Moss on January 30.
Elliott travelled from his home in North Street, Alfreton, to Canal Street with Hall, where they attacked Mr Moss in his hallway, leaving him with multiple injuries.
The jury cleared the trio of murder, which they denied, on Friday (October 4) but found them guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.
The judge suggested Hall, of Birchwood Lane, Somercotes, was ‘recruited’ to carry out the attack because of his size – and reasoned that this should afford him the same sentence as Elliott.
“I am satisfied that you, Hall, were a late recruit to this premeditated attack on Michael Moss,” continued Judge Stokes.
“I strongly suspect you were recruited because of your size and bulk – that’s what I suspect, but I can only act on a fact if I am sure about it. I will sentence both of you on the basis that you are both equally responsible for what happened to Mr Moss in his own home.
“We should all feel safe in our homes, no matter what they are like materially.”
He added: “He was sitting in that house completely oblivious to the fact that you and Hall were driving from Alfreton to Ilkeston with the sole intention of attacking him in his own home.”
“All 8st 1lb and 5ft 3ins of him had no chance at all,” he added.
Booth received a smaller sentence because the judge told her he was ‘satisfied there’s a significant degree of difference between what you contemplated would happen and what happened’.
“Nevertheless you triggered this assault on your erstwhile partner,” he said.
In mitigation, David Farrar said Booth ‘did not intend to cause serious harm’ and referred to abuse Booth said she suffered in the street from Mr Moss after she ended their ‘on-off’ relationship.
“It [the attack] clearly went far beyond, one could safely say, what Mrs Booth contemplated,” he said.
“She’s a woman who’s had a hard life living in a community where, as is painfully evident, threats with a focus on violence are by no means uncommon, unheard of events.
“In instigating the type of attack she was a woman who was plainly at the end of her tether as a result of the contact that Mr Moss in drink had perpetrated a number of times.
“She had been subject to a considerable degree of stress and humiliation for a considerable time,” he added.
Had they been convicted of murder, Elliott and Hall would have been facing 16-year sentences, the judge told them.
All three will serve half of their sentences, less the time any have spent in custody.
For Elliott, Shaun Smith said: “The family can take some solace in the fact that he’s genuinely sorry for what happened on that night.”
And for Hall, Andrew Lockhart said: “He took the part he took and that’s what he will have to live with when he’s serving the inevitable sentence that my lord will pass.”
“He has behaved well in custody. He has a job within Her Majesty’s Prison Nottingham and he tells me he will do all he can to take up any opportunity given for education and training,” he added.