BY JAMES TWOMEY
A family has seen five of its members convicted for their part in the murder of 18-year-old Jay Sewell in December 2018.
In an attack driven by jealousy, Jay and a friend were stabbed and beaten by members of the Grogan family and three other people when Daniel Grogan, 21, discovered Jay was dating his ex-girlfriend.
Jay’s mother, Sharon Louch, said in the family’s impact statement: “It breaks my heart to know that Jay will never be able to fulfil his dreams.
“He is my first thought when I wake up and last before I go to bed. I try my hardest to shield my children from the pain, but I can’t do it. They all know they will never see their brother again.
“It’s been nearly 10 months since that day in December, each one proving as hard as that before it.
“The trial lasted for what seemed an eternity, I pray I never have anything to compare it to.
“We as a family have taken whatever steps are necessary to ensure we have been there to support Jay and show him we care.
“I have not worked and had so much time away from my children at a place in their lives when they need me the most.
There is no sentence this court or any other can pass which can come close to healing the pain or make up for not being able to look at my Jay’s face or hear him laugh.
“I haven’t come here expecting or wanting it to. However it does provide a glimmer of hope that those responsible have been held to account for their actions.
“Jay you were a blessing and made us proud from the day you came to us until the moment you were taken.”
Last year, on December 11 at around 9.50pm, Jay had travelled with some friends and his girlfriend to meet Daniel Grogan at Alwold Crescent, Lewisham to stop Grogan threatening and harassing Jay’s girlfriend.
Jay and his friends were ambushed by the Grogan family and others who left their home in Sibthorpe Road, Lewisham armed with knives, hammers, wood and an axe.
Jay was stabbed along with another 18-year-old man who both were taken to a South London hospital but Jay died in hospital about 40 minutes after the attack.
The other man survived and was discharged from hospital.
A post-mortem gave Jay’s cause of death as a single stab wound to the chest. He was also stabbed twice in the legs.
After a 16-week trial at the Old Bailey, on Friday, September 27, Daniel Grogan, 21, of Sibthorpe Road, was found guilty of murdering Jay.
Ann Grogan, 54, and Robert Grogan, 57, of Sibthorpe Road, are the parents of Daniel and were found guilty of manslaughter. Charlie Dudley, 26, also of Sibthorpe Road, was also found guilty of manslaughter.
Daniel Grogan’s sister Francesca Grogan, 30, and her boyfriend Jamie Bennett, 31, also of Sibthorpe Road, and Daniel Grogan’s cousin Liam Hickey, 19, of Crown Woods Way, Eltham, were found guilty of violent disorder.
A 17-year-old boy – 16 at the time of the incident – from Greenwich, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was also found guilty of violent disorder.
They will be sentenced at the Old Bailey at a later date.
Detective Chief Inspector Simon Harding said: “This was a premeditated attack. It was quick, vicious and incredibly cowardly.
“Having armed themselves with deadly weapons, they attacked Jay and his friend like a pack of wolves and they knew their plans would have horrendous consequences for anyone standing in their way that evening.
“My team and I would like to thank the witnesses who came forward and helped secure these convictions.
“Their evidence was crucial to the investigation. I would also like to thank my team, the Crown Prosecution Service and prosecuting counsel for their hard work and determination in this difficult and complex investigation.
“But most importantly, Jay’s family have had to wait for justice since that dreadful night in December.
“They have also had to sit through more than three months of this trial.
There is nothing that anyone can do or say to bring Jay back to them, however I sincerely hope that these convictions can provide some form of comfort to Jay’s family and friends.”