A top boxer was jailed indefinitely today for the ‘Reservoir Dogs’ style killing of a man who owed him money.
Ricky Beesley, 23, fought for England, was crowned Amateur Boxer of the Year and had a ‘golden future’ ahead of him.
He was coached by three-times world champion Duke McKenzie and was about to turn professional, the Old Bailey heard
Beesley, fellow boxer Tony Coyle, 24, and 25-year-old John Cotter sliced off Lloyd Lilley’s ear after ambushing him in a flat.
He was stabbed in the leg and thrown out into the street where he collapsed, drenched in blood in front of horrified neighbours.
Mr Lilley, 21, had been lured to the home of Cotter in Mitcham to see Beesley, described in court as a ‘loan shark.’
He suffered massive blood loss resulting in two cardiac arrests and a stroke.
The victim, from Carshalton, Surrey, died four days later in St George’s Hospital, Tooting, south London.
His ear was found by police wrapped in a vest and concealed among rubbish on the kitchen floor in an empty Frosties cereal packet.
The three killers were facing trial for murder in April, but their guilty pleas to manslaughter were accepted by prosecutors before a jury was sworn.
They were given indeterminate sentences for public protection (IPP) and each told to serve a minimum of eight years.
As he was led to the cells Beesley, whose family come from the Falls Road, in Belfast, raised his fists to the public gallery.
His friend Coyle shouted: ‘Chin up. I will be out. I’m coming home.’
All three men had remained handcuffed throughout the hearing.
Judge Paul Worsley QC said: ‘You lured your victim Lloyd Lilley who was then 21 to the flat of John Cotter.
‘There was significant pre-meditation involved in bringing him to the flat where I am satisfied you had each decided painful punishment was to be inflicted upon him, it is said, in respect of a debt that he owed you.
‘He was subjected to torture before was fatally stabbed in the thigh. His left ear was completely severed.’
‘There were three of you present when this attack took place upon a man who was on his own and completely at your mercy,’ the judge continued.
‘Drenched in his own blood he was thrown out of the flat. He was in fact fatally injured.’
The court heard Beesley, a former Kent and south east London boxing champion, called Mr Lilley to Cotter’s flat in Pains Close, Mitcham, on February 25 last year.
His former girlfriend Charlotte Folan told police the victim had borrowed money from loan sharks and regularly made payments to them.
She later identified Beesley as a man she knew as ‘George’ or ‘Ricky’ who had taken cash from her boyfriend in the past.
Mr Lilley arrived in a taxi from his home in Carshalton, Surrey, at 7pm and told the driver to wait for him.
Within a few minutes Mr Lilley staggered out of the flat and collapsed.
As neighbours came to his aid, Mr Lilley begged: ‘Help me, help me, I’m dying.’
He was rushed to St George’s hospital, but despite efforts to save his life he died on February 29.
Pathologist Dr Robert Chapman said a series of linear cuts to Mr Lilley’s face suggested he was ‘under control or restraint’ and the ear had not been chopped or hacked off but deliberately sliced off by a ‘more controlled deliberate action’.
Police officers who arrived at the scene followed a trail of blood through the flats to Cotter’s front door, where they smelt of bleach and found him mopping the hallway and living room.
An officer discovered found the severed ear in the kitchen.
‘He found the ear rolled up in a sleeveless vest and pushed in to a Frosties cereal packet which was filled with other rubbish and cigarette ash,’ said prosecutor Brian Altman QC.
The fingerprints of Cotter, a roofer and father to an eight-year-old girl, were found on the box.
He was arrested at the scene and later charged. Coyle was picked up on March 7 and later charged on September 9, as was Beesley.
The court heard all three men have previous convictions for violence.
Beesley and Coyle were both jailed in July last year for causing actual bodily harm after attacking another customer in a Chinese restaurant in Croydon, south London.
George Carter-Stephenson QC, showed the court Beesley’s England boxing vest and his Amateur Boxer of the Year trophy.
He also passed up a series of statements including testimonies from another coach Tony Burns, who runs boxing clubs in east London and received an MBE in January this year for his services to amateur boxing.
The three-time world champion Mr McKenzie ‘recognised clear potential’ Beesley and provided a hand-written statement for the court.
‘He indicates he is willing to train this defendant if his sentence meant his release at a time when he was not too old to fight,’ said Mr Carter-Stephenson.
Beesley, a father of two, worked with the Croydon youth development programme helping young offenders and was captain of his boxing club.
‘He had always hoped he would be able to turn professional and have a boxing career,’ said the barrister, who also showed photographs of Beesley with Olympic gold medallist Audley Harrison.
Coyle, who also has two children, had also worked closely with Mr McKenzie and had trained at the same club as Beesley, the court was told.
Jailing Beesley, the judge said: ‘You have boxed for England, you had a golden future ahead of you if you had chosen to pursue that skill.’
Turning to all three men, he added: ‘I accept that in the shadow of the indictment you showed remorse. I am not satisfied you showed any remorse at the time of the infliction of the injuries or in the immediate period there after.
‘Nor am I satisfied and you of have told a told a frank tale of what really happened in that flat.’
Cotter, Coyle and Beesley all admitted manslaughter.