Teenager convicted of murder of Ronnie Wrighting in Milton Keynes

A teenager has been convicted of the murder of a 29-year-old man in Milton Keynes.

Zachary Lemonnier, aged 18, of Combes Crescent, Leadenhall, Milton Keynes, was convicted by unanimous jury following a three week trial at Luton Crown Court.

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Robert Williams, also aged 18, of Tallis Lane, Browns Wood, Milton Keynes, was convicted of manslaughter in connection with the incident. He was acquitted of murder.

Lemonnier was also convicted of possession of a bladed article in a public place and Williams was convicted of possession of an offensive weapon, at the same court hearing.

Both were acquitted of robbery against Mr Wrighting.

On Saturday August 11 last year at around 10.20pm 29-year-old Ronnie Wrighting had been visiting his former partner in Duparc Close, Browns Wood.

He was waiting in the street for a taxi when two men rode a moped in to the street.

Shortly afterwards, the two defendants attacked Mr Wrighting, who they did not know. Lemonnier used a knife to assault the victim, while Williams hit him with a baseball bat.

The attack ended when the taxi drove in to the street. As it turned around the two defendants fled in to Williams’ home.

Mr Wrighting was able to walk to the taxi and climb inside and it drove away. Unbeknown to him, he had sustained a fatal stab wound to his right upper abdomen.

He had also suffered a number of injuries including bruises and cuts.

Throughout the taxi journey, Mr Wrighting’s condition deteriorated and an ambulance was called.

He was taken to Milton Keynes University Hospital where he was pronounced dead in the early hours of the next day.

Williams was arrested on August 12 and Lemonnier was subsequently arrested on August 14.

They were both charged on August 14 in connection with Mr Wrighting’s death.

Senior investigating officer Detective Inspector Dejan Avramovic, of Thames Valley Police’s Major Crime unit, said: “This case is a tragic reminder of the dangers of knife crime and the impact that it has on our communities.

"Lemonnier and Williams are young men who, on this night, took the opportunity to escalate what may have begun as a verbal altercation by each going to some lengths to arm themselves with significant weapons and to assault Mr Wrighting.

“The jury quite properly dismissed their assertions that they were acting in self-defence; each of them in turn left the other alone in what they were seeking to portray as a violent situation initiated by Mr Wrighting, and went into Williams’ home in order to obtain weapons to attack Mr Wrighting, who was unarmed.”

Lemonnier and Williams are due to be sentenced at the same court tomorrow (February 26).