THREE members of the same family were found guilty of the death of an angler on the River Thames in Surrey.
The River Thames murder case dates back over two and half years, and is one of the most shocking cases ever involving an angler in the UK.
Shane Crawt, 19, of, Purley, Lenny Crawt, 18, from West Molesey, and Charlie Smith, 24, of no fixed abode, violently attacked 48-year-old Scott Wilkinson on Donkey Island near Sunbury Lock in July 2016.
The Crawt brothers were both found guilty of murder and given life sentences, and cousin Charlie Smith was found guilty of manslaughter and given a minimum jail term of 13 years at Guildford Crown Court. The brothers were told they will have to serve a minimum of 15 years.
The trio brutally attacked Scott before fleeing the island and destroying their clothing. They then boasted of “killing someone” to people they knew.
Scott’s body was found in the water the following day, four days after he arrived on the island.
Scott was an avid fisherman and would often spend long sessions on the island.
He arrived for his final visit on July 25 but his normal spot had been taken by the trio who at the time were aged 17, 16, and 21. Scott set up a short distance away in another spot.
The court heard how Scott was violently attacked by the Crawts and Smith. Together they punched, kicked and hit Scott using a large piece of wood. They also used a knife to injure him.
The attack was so violent that they caused catastrophic head injuries, leaving Scott for dead.
The three believed they had killed Scott, but he lived for at least two hours before he died as a result of his injuries.
‘Vicious’ River Thames murder attack
Detective Inspector Paddy Mayers, who led the investigation, said: “This was a vicious and senseless attack on Scott Wilkinson who after the attack was left alone to die. His injuries were so serious that they were not survivable.
“Shane Crawt, Lenny Crawt and Charlie Smith thought they had got away with it and even boasted about what they had done.
“They then denied their involvement before blaming each other, putting Scott’s family through a distressing trial where they had to listen in graphic detail to what Scott had gone through.
“Their actions that night were vicious, brutal and callous and they are finally now where they deserve to be. They have never shown any remorse for what they have done.
“I would like to thank Scott’s family for their support and patience throughout this long and complex investigation. I sincerely hope that they feel that Scott has got justice as a result of today’s outcome, although I know that their lives will never be the same.
“I would also like to thank my team and all those that assisted in this complex and long investigation. The team worked tirelessly on this case for two and a half years and were committed to making sure that those responsible were brought to justice.”
Family tribute to murdered angler
Scott’s family released this statement after the trial: “Scott was a loving, affectionate and caring son, brother, father, grandfather, nephew and partner.
“We have such fond memories of Scott which include him misbehaving with his brother Shaun when they were children much to the consternation of his mother Janet and humorous delight of his father David.
“Scott’s passion, as anyone who knew him would tell you, was fishing.
“Fishing was a family hobby which brought us all together. It created shared experiences during long summer holidays, adventurous trips to Ireland with long drawn out tales of the one that got away.
“The energy and enthusiasm which Scott directed towards fishing was reflective of his character towards people. He offered friendship, kindness and closeness to those that wanted or needed it. He enriched the lives of the people who knew him.
“Scott was not perfect. He had his faults as we all do but he belonged to us and he should not have been taken away.”
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