FOUR people have been locked behind bars for at least 70 years for killing Courtney Valentine-Brown.

Judge Samantha Leigh sentenced Ian Slater and Alex Stephens to life with a minimum of 26 years for murdering Mr Valentine-Brown after he was stabbed on February 20 last year.


Alex Stephens

They will both be on license for the rest of their lives. 

The 36-year-old died from his injuries sustained in Roots Hall Drive, Southend.


Ian Slater

Kelly King and Stuart Pearson, who were both found guilty of manslaughter, received nine years each behind bars.

All four had denied murder but a jury of six men and six women found Slater and Stephens guilty after around 30 hours of deliberations.

The gang had gone to King’s flat in Roots Hall Drive to get Mr Valentine-Brown, along with fellow tenant Solmaz Sevket, to leave.

The group were armed with weapons and, in the ensuing struggle in the flat, Mr Valentine-Brown was stabbed through the femoral artery in his leg by Stephens. He claimed he had done it in self-defence.

King had been talking with her partner, Slater, about getting Mr Valentine-Brown and Solmaz Sevket out of her flat.

After being met with resistance, she had asked Slater to help, and he had recruited Stephens and Pearson to go to the flat.

They had alleged it was an “eviction gone wrong” and they never intended to hurt anyone.

In a victim impact statement, Mr Valentine-Brown’s mother said: “This has affected me in a way I can never imagine. On some days I have not been able to eat, speak or sleep. It has affected my work as a support worker and carer.

“I have been admitted to hospital five times for ill health.

“To know the full impact, every person in this room would have to go through what my family has been through, and would have to be standing where I am now.

“I thank the jury, the court and the judge for bringing a form of closure.”