Gravesend couple jailed after approaching manslaughter witness in Ben Mahoney trial
PUBLISHED: 12:48 29 January 2014 | UPDATED: 14:19 29 January 2014
A couple were jailed last week for perverting the course of justice following the death of Ben Mahoney in a Dartford takeaway.
Neil Sookoo, 37, of Hamptons Crescent, Gravesend, was sentenced to four years in prison by a judge at Maidstone Crown Court last week.
His partner, Thereza George, 42, of the same address, received an 18-month sentence at the same court.
The couple plotted together to attempt to force a witness to the killing Ben Mahoney to retract his statement.
However, the pair were arrested, charged and later found guilty by a jury on December 18.
Mr Mahoney was beaten to death by Edward Ives, a former boxer, in the House on the Hill kebab shop on April 20 last year.
Ives was found guilty of manslaughter in December last year, and jailed for eight years.
Following the death of Mr Mahoney, Ives asked George to tell Sookoo to approach one of the prosecution witnesses and put pressure on him to retract his status.
Ives admitted a charge of perverting the course of justice on November 25 and was sentenced to an additional 32 months in jail last week.
Det Ch Insp Paul Fotheringham, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “Yesterday marked the end of a long-running saga that continually dragged up painful memories for Mr Mahoney’s family and friends.
“Perverting the course of justice is an extremely serious offence and the sentences handed down to this trio should make others think twice before committing a similar crime in an effort to escape justice.
“I welcome the news George and Sookoo will be joining Ives behind bars and can only hope this will at least bring some closure to Ben’s family.”