Sidcup man sentenced to life for Orpington Gipsy murder

PUBLISHED: 16:29 14 July 2011 | UPDATED: 16:44 14 July 2011

James Saunders

James Saunders


A 21-year-old man has been sentenced to life today for the murder of a fellow Gipsy.

James Saunders, of Powerscroft Road, Sidcup, was found guilty at the Old Bailey of killing Moses Devall in Orpington in October 2009. He was given a 14-year sentence.

The court heard that Mr Devall was stabbed in the chest in his home in Swallowtail Close, St Paul’s Cray after two fights between him and his partner and the Saunders family.

On October 30 Mr Devall’s partner was attacked by the Saunders family in the Priory Tavern pub in Orpington High Street. In the early hours of October 31, Saunders went to their home and murdered Mr Devall.

Ambulance crews found the 36-year-old collapsed in the doorway of his home. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police arrested a number of other people in connection with the assault on Mr Devall’s girlfriend who were later charged with grievous bodily harm. They were James Saunders’ brother John Saunders, of the same address, his sister Charmaine Coates, aka Laura Saunders,of Lower Road, Hextable, and her husband Levi Coates, of the same address.

They all pleaded guilty to the offences in December last year. John Saunders and Levi Coates both received 21 months in jail while Coates was handed a two-year suspended sentence.

Katie Bignall, of Barnfield Park, South Ash Road, Sevenoaks, was convicted of two counts of assisting an offender, James Saunders, at the Old Bailey on February 2 this year.

She was sentenced to 12 months, suspended for two years and 150 hours’ community work.

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