Saturday 2 March 2024
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Four men jailed for 109 years for Ricardo Cotteral murder

Four men have been jailed for the “careful killing in cold blood” of a Nottingham dad on a busy Nottingham city centre street.

Ricardo Cotteral, 33, died on the pavement in Broad Street after being stabbed 14 times in front of horrified revellers.

Two knives were used in the attack and Mr Cotteral, a father-of-two, succumbed to his injuries despite the best efforts of emergency workers to save him.

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Four defendants were found guilty of murder on 25 July following a trial at Nottingham Court Court, including:

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  • Malcolm Francis, 30, of no fixed address
  • Daniel Francis, 27, of Shakespeare Street, Nottingham
  • Richard Anderson, 25, of no fixed address
  • Ijah Lavelle Moore, 31, of Woodfield Road, Broxtowe

The four killers were back in court today (7 September) for sentencing. They all received life sentences and each was told the minimum length of time they will serve behind bars before they can apply for parole.

Malcolm Francis will serve a minimum of 30 years.

Daniel Francis will serve a minimum of 27 years.

Anderson will serve a minimum of 27 years.

Lavelle Moore will serve a minimum of 25 years.

A fifth defendant, Wade Smith, 37, of Helmsdale Gardens, Top Valley, was found not guilty of murder and not guilty to the alternative charge of manslaughter.

The jury heard Mr. Cotteral was on weekend release from prison when he was ambushed and murdered outside Wax Bar shortly before 2 a.m. on 24 April 2022.

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Footage showed to the jury captured three of the defendants – Malcolm Francis, Daniel Francis and Richard Anderson – leaving the bar and heading towards Mr Cotteral, before attacking him.

The court heard Mr Cotteral ran down the street after being stabbed but was chased and attacked again by the trio and that it was Malcolm Francis who dealt the fatal blow.

Whilst Lavelle Moore was not involved in the physical attack, he played an important supporting role by acting as a lookout and getaway driver, enabling the Francis brothers and Anderson to carry out the murder.

In today’s sentencing hearing, prosecutor John Lloyd-Jones KC said Mr Cotteral was “stabbed, chased and attacked again” in a “planned and premeditated” attack that only stopped when one of the attackers was heard saying, “he’s dead, let’s go”.

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Nottingham Crown Court

He added there was evidence to suggest the murder had been an “act of revenge” following a previous violent incident that caused “hostility and ill-feeling” between Mr Cotteral and his killers.

Following the murder, Mr Lloyd-Jones KC said the defendants did everything they could to evade capture, including fleeing Nottinghamshire, discarding knives and disposing of clothing worn on the night and mobile phones.

But robust work by detectives led to the arrests of the defendants within a few weeks of the attack, with a combination of CCTV, forensic analysis and mobile phone evidence helping secure the murder convictions.

In sentencing the defendants today, Judge Stuart Rafferty KC said Mr Cotteral had been “unarmed and defenceless” and that his murder was a “tragedy”.

He said: “Whatever (Mr Cotteral) had done in the past… he did not deserve to die. The way in which he met his death was appalling from any number of perspectives.

“Each of you knew perfectly well what was going to happen that night. This was a careful killing in cold blood.”

Following the verdicts, Mr Cotteral’s family said in a joint statement: “Ricardo was one-in-a-million and an inspiration to all who knew him. He was a family man. He loved his family and would do anything for them. He was the heart and glue to our family.

“We are grateful and blessed to have shared the experience of loving life with Ricardo and being loved by him. But his legacy will live on through his two beautiful daughters who are left behind without a father.

“We are happy to know those responsible for Ricardo’s death will not be in a position to pose a risk to the public for some considerable time and would like to thank everyone who have supported us in this difficult time.

“We would also like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the Major Crime Unit of Nottinghamshire Police and the Crown Prosecution Service, jury, witnesses and our police liaison officer Raj Johal, who has been a big support for our family.”

The family added their lives will “never be the same again”.

“Since we lost Ricardo, we have all come to realise you don’t just lose someone you love once, you lose them over and over.

“Every time you open your eyes, as you awaken, so does your memory and so does the realisation that the person you love is gone. It rips into your heart. The trauma is endless.”

Detective Chief Inspector Clare Dean, who oversaw the investigation, welcomed the sentencing.

She said: “This was an appalling act of premeditated violence in a busy public place and our thoughts remain with Mr Cotteral’s family as they attempt to come to terms with their devastating loss.

“Ricardo Cotteral was unarmed on the night he was murdered in what can only be described as a cowardly, planned and targeted knife attack.

“After carrying out their unprovoked and calculated plan, the group fled the scene – leaving Mr Cotteral for dead on the pavement.

“Whilst these sentencings will not alleviate the pain and suffering of Ricardo’s family, it does mean these dangerous individuals have been rightly taken off our streets for a significant amount of time.

“I would like to pay tribute to all the officers and staff who have put in so many hours into investigating this case and bringing these men to justice.”

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