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Sentencing of three men accused of Barton shops affray is delayed again


Aug 12, 2022

THE SENTENCING of a Barton affray had to be delayed again – over confusion about why since-convicted killer Lewis Brown wasn’t at court to learn his fate.

The 21-year-old’s co-defendants Andee Williams, 50, and Cameron Merritt, 18, had attended Oxford Crown Court on Wednesday to be sentenced for the incident in Underhill Circus last June.

Judge Michael Gledhill QC, the sentencing judge, said he arrived at court to be told Brown would be arriving 60 to 90 minutes late.

READ MORE: Lewis Brown jailed for manslaughter of Lee Butler

“The prison, knowing the case was listed for 10 o’clock, had made no arrangements to move him from wherever he is to Bullingdon to be here at 10 o’clock,” he said. HMP Bullingdon, as the nearest prison to Oxford, is often where remanded defendants stay overnight if they are due at the city’s crown court in the morning.

“I am not amused by the behaviour of either the prison or the transport company that brings prisoners to this court.”

However, he said he had subsequently been told that Brown had refused to get on the van bringing him to court. “That is why he is not here,” Judge Gledhill said.

The sentencing will now take place on Friday, when Brown is expected to attend via video link from prison.

The men were first due to be sentenced in June.

Previously, the court heard how an unidentified man was threatened by a group outside the SPAR shop on June 2, 2021.

Williams was accused of brandishing a machete, although he denied the allegation. Brown, who is currently serving a 10-and-a-half year sentence for fatally stabbing his drug line’s customer Lee Butler, was seen on CCTV appearing to put the machete in a rucksack.

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward