Men jailed for Blackpool manslaughter

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Christopher Carrington  26, of no fixed address and Kevin Gracia  26, of Hilltop Avenue, London were found guilty by the jury at Preston Crown Court of the manslaughter of Kris Kam (pictured below).

Carrington and a third man, Shaquille Cumberbatch (pictured far right), 27, of Montrose Avenue, Edgware, were also convicted of the robbery of an 18-year-old man, an attack which took place in Blackpool the day before Mr Kam was fatally stabbed.

Police were called around 11.15am on October 26, 2019, to reports a man had been stabbed on Queen Victoria Road.

Emergency services attended to find Mr Kam with three stab wounds to his upper legs. He was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital for treatment but sadly died the following day.

Following enquiries detectives established Mr Kam had been cycling on Queen Victoria Road when a black Volkswagen Golf car stopped and several men got out.

The group attacked Mr Kam knocking him off his bike, before punching and kicking him on the ground. Mr Kam was then stabbed and the group fled the scene in the vehicle.

The attack was witnessed by several people, including a 12-year-old boy and a woman living nearby.

Police launched a major investigation with a black Volkswagen Golf car later found on Rydal Avenue.

Officers began searching the area and around 3.15pm a fast-food delivery ordered by the suspects was to be delivered to a flat on Central Drive adjacent to Rydal Avenue.

An officer accompanied the delivery driver to the address and knocked on the door. There was no answer. Several members of the public then reported a number of men jumping from the first-floor window of the flat at the front of the building and running off.

The men were arrested after a foot chase by officers.

Detectives investigating Mr Kam’s murder quickly linked the offence to an attack on an 18-year-old man the previous day (October 25, 2019).

The victim was walking on Grasmere Road around 5.40pm when he was approached from behind by a man and with no warning, he was savagely punched to the ground. This man the jury decided was Shaquille Cumberbatch.

The victim was knocked unconscious, with the attacker stole his £900 Samsung mobile phone. While he was defenceless on the floor a second man, Carrington, stabbed him in the leg.

The pair made off from the scene in a black Volkswagen Golf, with the victim suffering fractured cheekbones, a broken nose, chipped teeth and a bleed on the brain. He was also found to have suffered a small stab wound to rear upper leg. He was treated for his injuries at the hospital.

Detectives investigating both crimes discovered key evidence including:

  • The Volkswagen Golf had been hired from a company in Manchester by Shaquille Cumberbatch. It was fitted with a tracker which showed the movements of the vehicle, placing it at the scene during the time of both offences.

  • CCTV footage showed the movements of the car and placed it at the scene during both crimes.

  • Kris Kam’s blood was found on the rear offside interior door handle of the Golf.

  • Traces of his blood were found on Christopher Carrington’s trainers.

  • CCTV footage showed Cumberbatch and Carrington at the robbery scene attacking the 18-year-old man.

  • Following a press appeal for information a passing motorist came forward and identified Cumberbatch at the scene of the Grasmere Road attack.

  • The victim’s Samsung mobile phone was recovered from the flat in Central Drive.

  • A knife which police believed was the murder weapon was found down the toilet in the flat in Central Drive together with broken phone parts.

The three men were convicted yesterday (Monday, November 23).

Carrington was sentenced to 20 years in prison as well as a three-year extended licence, Gracia jailed for nine years and nine months and Cumberbatch handed a seven year and six-month sentence.

Det Ch Insp Lee Wilson, of the Lancashire’s Force Major Incident CID, said: “I welcome the sentences handed down today. These men came to Blackpool and committed violent offences, in an effort, we believe, to intimidate our local vulnerable communities and establish a foothold dealing drugs in Blackpool. They used violence to further this aim.

“Kris Kam was going about his daily business when these men targeted him, believing on the wholly mistaken basis that he was in some way connected to a rival group. He was not.

“They launched a cowardly group attack on Mr Kam who frankly stood little chance against the overwhelming force used against him. Not content with beating him they then saw fit to use a knife upon him resulting in his death.

“I should like to pay tribute to Mr Kam’s family who have remained steadfast in their support of the police to see justice done for Kris. Our thoughts are with them as they still seek to come to terms with his untimely loss.

“I should also like to pay tribute to the victim of the robbery and his family, they too were compelled to come to court and re-live the night’s events. I hope that the verdict handed down by the jury goes some way to helping them move forward with their futures.”