Two men have been jailed for life with a minimum recommendation they serve at least 21 years for murdering their former friend, dismembering his body and dumping it in White Hart Lakes, Eastbrookend Country Park, Dagenham.
Three men who plotted the cover-up of the murder of 39 year old father of two, Neill Buchel, also received prison sentences at the Old Bailey.
The court heard that alcohol played a large part in the lives of all those involved and they spent a lot of time together, sometimes playing a game they called ‘Jackass-style stunts’, based on the American TV series.
The pranks sometimes caused injury and were recorded on phones.
Mr Buchel appeared to be a willing participant.
He was last seen alive on 13th March last year.
The court heard he had been brutally assaulted and suffered many injuries, including bruising, internal bleeding, multiple fractured bones and defensive injuries to his hands, consistent with being beaten, kicked and stamped upon.
Following today’s sentencing, investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Chris Jones, of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said:
Neill Buchel was murdered at the hands of people he trusted and believed were his friends. His death and subsequent treatment of his body have left all who knew him completely devastated.
I would like to pay tribute to Neill’s family both in the UK and South Africa. Throughout our investigation and the trial process they have demonstrated great dignity, especially during the harrowing evidence from defendant Quye. I feel today’s sentences properly reflect the callous and evil crimes committed by the guilty parties.
In a victim impact statement the Neill Buchel’s mother Trish Kell said:
Knowing that they ruthlessly chopped his body into pieces – this child who I had loved, watched grow from a baby into a man, whole in body and soul – the absolute horror of this is indescribable.
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