Robbery turns to murder of Ben Foster in bungled cannabis raid
A drug abuser has been jailed for 10 years for his part in the fatal stabbing of a shopworker during a bungled robbery.
Kieran Thomas, 29, of Wallington, was already serving a four-month suspended sentence when he helped Johnny Claydon, 28, steal cannabis worth £4,000.
The duo planned the robbery to settle a cocaine debt but ended up killing Ben Foster, who was delivering a potent skunk package for his drug dealer brother.
Thomas was seen brandishing a knife before Claydon, said to be high on drugs and alcohol, dealt the fatal blow, later boasting that it “felt better than sex”.
Claydon claimed he only intended to deliver a “love lick”, a single stab wound to the side, but Foster died of a severed aorta.
After the attack in Bath on April 27 last year, the two men fled with the bag of drugs before turning themselves in to police several days later.
Claydon, of Battersea, was convicted of murder and given a life sentence at Bristol Crown Court, to serve a minimum of 20 years.
Judge Mr Justice Fields sentenced Thomas, a criminal previously convicted of robbery and assault, to 10 years’ imprisonment for a charge of manslaughter.
In a statement the victim’s mother, Claire Wallace, spoke of the devastation wrought on her family.
She said: “Ben had grown into a loving and principled young man, protective of his family and friends, helping others without any thought of the consequences for himself.
“His willingness to do things for others without considering the risk, put him in Ringswell Gardens.”
“It is only right that John Claydon and Kieran Thomas should be deprived of their liberty.
“No sentence will ever bring him back to us.”
Claydon had been detained at Springfield psychiatric hospital in Wandsworth for assessment after the murder.
He escaped in November by cutting a hole in the perimeter fence, triggering a national manhunt.
The court was told both men “conspicuously consumed drugs”, with Thomas confessing to having snorted three ounces of coke in the week before the stabbing.
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