Man ‘stabbed to death by drugs 
gang in revenge’

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A man was stabbed to death by drug dealers seeking revenge for a robbery, a court has heard.

Five men chased and caught up with Roger Millar, 44, before he was stabbed repeatedly with a large hunting knife.

Local residents heard Mr Millar pleading with his attackers and saying “it’s nothing to do with me, mate” and then a voice shouting as obscene death threat.

Prosecutors allege Mr Millar was attacked because he was unable to get away from his five pursuers – Shelton Sibanda, 19, Zacharious Clayton, 19, Kendel Joseph, 19, Eurico Tavares, 18, and Christopher Simmonds, 28.

He suffered five stab wounds to his back and lower limbs in Swindon at around 1.30am on June 6 last year. Mr Millar, of East Street, Swindon died a short time later.

Jurors at Bristol Crown Court were told that less than an hour earlier Mr Millar was with two other men and a woman who were waiting to buy drugs.

One of the men – Damian Lynch – robbed drug dealer Sibanda when he arrived riding a bicycle and he fled leaving the bicycle behind, prosecutor Nigel Lickley QC told jurors.

He returned to a party in a nearby flat to round up his associates and go out looking for revenge.

Sibanda was allegedly armed with a large hunting knife hanging from a sheaf around his neck.

Sibanda – who has admitted murder and is not facing trial – left with Clayton, Joseph, Tavares and Simmonds.

Parts of the chase through the Rodbourne area of the town was heard by residents and captured on CCTV cameras.

Mr Lickley told the court: “In the early hours of June 6 last year in a quiet residential street in Swindon, Roger Millar was murdered.

“He was stabbed to the back and lower limbs causing serious injury from which he died.”

He added: “It seems that Mr Millar, who was perhaps the oldest and the slowest of the group he was in, was selected because he was the slowest and unable to make his escape.

“A large hunting-style knife was used and the injuries were inflicted from behind. Mr Millar died very shortly thereafter.”

Mr Lickley explained that the catalyst was the robbery. “There was a scuffle, at least. Sibanda got away and ran off leaving behind his bike and dropping a knife.”

“It does not appear that Roger Millar played any part in it at all.”

Sibanda returned to the flat in Rose Street and immediately got the others together.

“The Crown say they were told about what happened and they immediately set off in search of the group and their purpose was revenge,” Mr Lickley said.

The prosecutor said that eyewitnesses described seeing Sibanda’s large hunting knife.

“Ask yourselves why would Sibanda do that? What was his purpose? If you went with him what would be your purpose?,” Mr Lickley asked.

“We suggest there was one purpose – not to get back a bicycle – but to exact revenge upon that group. That’s exactly what happened. There was a common purpose, a common intent shared by all five of these men.”

During the attack a telephone call was made to a taxi firm from Mr Millar’s mobile phone and the operator could hear a voice saying “don’t stab me, don’t stab me”.

Witnesses in the flat described seeing Sibanda, Simmonds and Tavares return without Clayton and Joseph.

And jurors were told that Clayton and Joseph were arrested near the scene of the attack.

Clayton, of Dean Street; Joseph, of Pioneer Road; Tavares, of Burbage Road, all Swindon; and Simmonds, of Mundania Road, London, all deny murder.

Simmonds has pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice by persuading his former girlfriend to give a false account about the night of Mr Millar’s death.

Mr Lickley said that although Sibanda may have been the knifeman, Mr Millar’s death was a joint enterprise between the five.

“Mr Millar was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

The case continues